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Issue 197

Questionnaire: Mika Rottenberg

Q: What do you like the look of? A: ‘Soft, squashy stuff.’

BY Mika Rottenberg in Interviews , Questionnaires | 16 AUG 18

Jelly on a plate. Courtesy the artist and Getty Images

What images keep you company in the space where you work?
As my studio has been nomadic this past year, they’re mainly digital images in folders and a YouTube channel on my laptop. Recently, I’ve been watching a lot of videos of the theoretical physicist Richard Feynman explaining matter and energy. I don’t understand much of it, but I love it. I’ve also been watching a lot of cake-decorating videos.

What was the first piece of art that really mattered to you?
I don’t remember.

If you could live with only one piece  of art what would it be?
Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970),  but I’m not sure where I’d put it.

What is your favourite title of an artwork?
Untitled #4.

What do you wish you knew?
Better maths.

What should stay the same?
All and nothing.

What could you imagine doing if you didn’t do what you do?
Starting a revolution, becoming a goat’s cheese farmer, a journalist and a pastry chef – in that order.

What music are you listening to?
Tuvan throat singing.

What are you reading?
Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Bodies and Places (1981), edited by Michele Mancini and Giuseppe Perrella.

What is art for?
Hmm ... 

This article first appeared in frieze issue 197 with the headline ‘Questionnaire: Mika Rottenberg’.

Mika Rottenberg lives in New York, USA. Her solo show at CCA Goldsmiths, London, UK, which runs from 8 September to 4 November, is the gallery’s inaugural exhibition. Rottenberg’s new works are co-commissions with Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria, and Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Italy. She will have a solo show at the New Museum, New York, in 2019.