Semiotics of the Kitchen

  • Martha Rosler, Semiotics of the Kitchen, 1975, single-channel video, black and white, sound; 06:09 minutes, Smithsonian American Art Museum, © 1975, Martha Rosler, Museum purchase made possible by the Ford Motor Company, 2008.21.7

Exhibition Label
In Semiotics of the Kitchen, Martha Rosler performs for the camera as a culinary hostess introducing various kitchen utensils. She progresses through the alphabet, demonstrating a different cooking utensil for each letter. Her physical interaction with the objects is unapologetically sudden and violent. Each display is a thinly veiled gesture of frustration with the language of domesticity as the kitchen becomes grounds for resistance and change. Rosler describes the performance by saying that “as she speaks, she names her own oppression,” identifying a loaded, ordered language as an object to be interrogated. Created in 1975, Semiotics of the Kitchen remains one of the most influential works of both feminist and conceptual art.

Watch This!: Revelations in Media Art, 2015
Semiotics of the Kitchen
On View
Not on view.
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase made possible by the Ford Motor Company

Mediums Description
single-channel video, black and white, sound; 06:09 minutes
  • Occupation – domestic – cooking
  • Architecture Interior – domestic – kitchen
  • Object – other – cookware
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More Artworks from the Collection