Untitled (O'Hare), 1990

Martha Rosler (American, born 1943)

Martha Rosler, Untitled (O'Hare), 1990, color photograph, 26 1/2 x 40 in. Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School, 1995.15. © Martha Rosler.

This photograph is part of a series that Martha Rosler began in 1983, which explore the interior architecture of airports. Rosler described the series and how it has evolved in a 2017 interview with Anne Doran in ARTNews: “I’ve never gone to an airport to take a picture. I take photos when I’m traveling, usually when I’m pushing a cart or dragging heaving luggage, and just before I get on a plane or just after getting off—all typically late at night, because I prefer to travel at off hours. I’m interested in delineating the physical space that a traveler inhabits….I saw how the airport terminal was constructed to convey something visually about where we were and where we were going. We were not, experientially at least, somewhere fixed—we were ‘en route,’ walking corridors with big light-box displays extolling the virtues of somewhere else. There was an effort to calm people, to pacify them, and to persuade them that all the disaccomodation they’d experienced was worth it, through spectacular images of other places.”