I was born in Buenos Aires where I studied at the P. Pueyrredón School of Arts. I was 27 when I decided to go to Germany to see new things. I arrived in Berlin in 1991, I did a Master with Rebecca Horn at the "Universität der Künste” and I stayed there.
Recent awards and scholarships: Karl Hofer Prize, Germany (2000); Fellowship Kulturfond Foundation, Germany (2001), Grant for artistic projects, Senate of Culture of the city of Berlin (2003), Second Prize (together with Maria Cecilia Barbetta), Monument to Rosa Luxemburg, awarded by the Senate of Culture of the city of Berlin (2005), Scholarship of the Ministry of Culture of the Province of Brandenburg Wiepersdorf Künstlerhaus Schloss, Germany (2007) Civitella Ranieri Fellowship Foundation at the Civitella Ranieri Center, Italy; Kunstfonds Foundation Fellowship, Germany (2008).
Recent solo exhibitions: Himmlisch, Hengevoss-Dürkop Galerie, Hamburg, Center Régional d'Art Contemporain, Montbéliard, France; Paradis, Musée de la Chartreuse, Douai, France (2004); Heavenly Ruth Benzacar Gallery, Buenos Aires (2005); New works and some special offers, Galerie Barnoud, Dijon (2006); With sorrow or glory, Ruth Benzacar Gallery, Buenos Aires (2008)
Latest group exhibitions: ABC der Bilder, Pergamon Museum, Berlin; Body Media, International exhibition of interactive art, O Art Center, Shanghai, China; Neue Heimat - Berlin Contemporary, Berlinische Galerie, Museum of Architecture, Photography and Modern Art City of Berlin (2007); Glück. Welches Glück, German Hygiene Museum, Dresden, Germany; Künstlerkult, Kulturforum Berlin; Blickmaschinen, Museum of Contemporary Art Siegen, Germany (2008).
Vision of art
1. Choose a work that represents you, describe it in relation to its format and materiality, its relation with time and space, its style and theme; detail its production process.
Referring to Melancholia A. D. Maria Cecilia Barbetta wrote in the catalog of my last exhibition at Ruth Benzacar Gallery: "In the sculpture Melancholia A. D. Michael Rothschild quotes the famous engraving "Melancholia I" by Albrecht Dürer. By borrowing the polyhedron and building it at large size, by including in the title of the work the German artist's initials and by contrasting lightness and transparency to the inherent German density and drama, Rothschild, a true homo ludens, tells –programmatically- 'Ade' (goodbye) to the melancholy. His polyhedron is built with thousands of colored straws connected together in the form of triangles, which give an amazing stability to the filigree and fragile-looking figure. Because of the chosen material and despite its strict geometric shape and its labyrinthine interior, the work awakens a sense of casual game that sends the viewer into the world of childhood, a lost paradise, which is a recurring theme of the artist. Let’s recall that the polyhedron in Dürer's work was heavy, obscuring the landscape. At Rothschild installation instead, everything is open, even the questions set by the sculpture. One might think that the colorful lightness, the emptying of meaning in the twenty-first century reality, is certainly what generates the melancholy in the artist - or even that the artist becomes melancholic because he wants to have that lightness which he sees on the outside, in others, in the world, but not inside of him. Moreover, this lightness to the world and events, is real? It may not exist, either in others or in oneself, it might be imaginary, a projection that Rothschild accurately calculated. "
2. In general terms, how would you suggest to approach your work?
My work often has a hidden component of melancholy covered with humor. I like to get to the viewer through a simple approach, light, direct so that at a second look at this lightness it may be transformed into its opposite.
3. In reference to your work and your position in the national and international art fields, what tradition do you recognize yourself in? Who are your contemporary referents? What artists of previous generations are of interest to you?
At the beginning of my career I was much inclined towards the Dadaists and later the Fluxus and the pataphysics, especially because of their attitude towards art. It always interested me to value the daily things and to “lower the grand gestures from the pedestal”.
An artist that I really like and is connected with this tradition is Piero Manzoni. Within the national artistic field: Alberto Greco.
But there are plenty of artists that have nothing to do with this line that I have mentioned, which I admire and yet somehow have influenced my work. From Argentina it would be the case of Berni; internationally the list is very long and should begin with Giotto, finishing with Francis Alys.
4. Choose works or exhibitions from the last ten or fifteen years which in your opinion were very significant and explain why
As I have been living for over 17 years abroad I have not seen many exhibitions in Argentina in recent years.
It remains in my memory an exhibition of Kuitca at the Galeria del Retiro, end of the eighties.