For those of us used to looking out at the world and being constantly productive, quarantine has forced a slowing down, a taking stock, a reconsideration of what is already there. Ellen Rothenberg has turned to her own archives, photographs printed over the past five years but never exhibited. No longer organized according to place, events or people—a condition sometimes permitted by the passing of enough time—they have been pinned up on the wall in novel salon-style groupings that forge connections aesthetic, poetic, associative, and sometimes private. Between a streaming ceiling fixture and a streaming sink hangs the word “Damen,” which, given Rothenberg’s long-time shuffling between Chicago and Berlin, could be a street name or a sign on a bathroom door. Pretty floral still lifes join tangles of black cable, rosy ruched curtains, and a hand holding a yellow-and-green wrapper, three copies of which hang upside down and right side up. It’s poignantly impossible to know which are which.
—Lori Waxman 2020-06-30 11:16 PM