Stealth, an installation with reading/performance events included in the touring exhibition “Experimental Geography, ” 2008-2011, curated by Nato Thompson and Independent Curators International, NYC.
Stealth is a series of related works begun post 9/11 and developed during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and the Iraq war. The installation attempts to measure unquantifiable distances, from the eye of a smart bomb to fragments left on the pavement, between the contested geographies of war and daily life in the United States.
Rothenberg's research began with a visit to The Natick Soldier Systems Center, a Department of Defense installation responsible for technology development and engineering of US military food, clothing, shelters, airdrop systems, and soldier support. She met with a member of the Materials and Systems Integration Team, the group that develops and tests camouflage. Given access to night vision goggles, body armor, and camouflage make-up; Rothenberg toured various climatic dioramas used to test camouflage effectiveness; and examined their extensive collection of military uniforms from international armies. After several hours a military team member, asked Rothenberg if she would mind answering a question - could she tell him about Mondrian and Seurat and what they have to do with camouflage?
As an installation, Stealth is a series of related works. Wall-sized maps made from the cut seams of camouflage clothing. Each map is punctuated with numbered tacks and tiny plastic flags. There's a wall text of excerpts from patriotic songs, a how-to diagram exhorting you to strip camouflage clothing off the backs of your friends along with instructions for the storage and containment of this dangerous and invasive material.
Each part of the installation functions independently, expands and contracts according to venue, and can be shown individually or as a group. The installation can also function as a site for performance and readings.
Exhibited at Richard E. Peeler Art Center, DePauw University; Rochester Art Center; The Albuquerque Museum; Miller Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University; The Colby College Museum of Art; The James Gallery, The Graduate Center at CUNY; Museum London, London, Canada; and Foreman Art Gallery, Bishop’s University. Stealth was also featured in the group exhibitions in “Consuming War” curated by Barbara Koenen at the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago in 2007-08 and “HereThereEverywhere” at the Chicago Cultural Center in 2008. A solo exhibition of Stealth premiered at Northeastern Illinois University in 2007.