Rosler originally distributed photocopies of House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home at anti–Vietnam War demonstrations. “I saw House Beautiful not as art,” she later reflected. “I wanted it to be agitational.” The artist created the original photomontages, from which these collages are derived, by combining news photographs of scorched battlefields in Vietnam with glossy advertisements for US homes, layering images of soldiers within cut-out silhouettes of men from polo-shirt advertisements; and splicing pictures of soldiers’ burials with those of military marches. By tying the destruction abroad to untroubled affluence at home, Rosler gave visual form to the description of the conflict as “the living-room war”—so called because it was the first war to be televised.
Gallery label from 2024