CARISSA RODRIGUEZ: THE MAIDCarissa Rodriguez, The Maid, 2018. Courtesy the artist and Karma International, Zurich/Los Angeles.



October 4, 2020 – April 1, 2021

The Art Gallery, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM), Art Building

Events & Programs: In person events are cancelled for Fall 2020 due to COVID-19.

October 6, 12:00-1:15 pm: Talk with Ruba Katrib, curator, MoMA/PS1 and curator of Carissa Rodriguez: The Maid (Zoom link; Meeting ID: 944 4839 4918; Passcode: 605167)

The Art Gallery, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM), is proud to present Carissa Rodriguez: The Maid. Carissa Rodriguez examines the material and social conditions in which art is produced and reveals how the canonical figure of the artist is reflected in—and reproduced by—the products of her labor. Rodriguez’s solo exhibition, which premiered at Sculpture Center in January, 2018, featured a newly commissioned video work titled The Maid (2018). This exhibition was subsequently presented at the MIT Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA (2018), the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2019), and The Art Institute of Chicago (2020).

The Maid follows a selection of American artist Sherrie Levine’s Newborn sculptures throughout the course of a day in various residences, private and institutional, from New York to Los Angeles. Levine made the works in crystal and black cast glass in the early 1990s, molding them after Constantin Brancusi’s marble and bronze sculptures of the same name from 1915 and 1920. By featuring not only Levine’s sculptures, already appropriations of another artist’s work, but also capturing their contemporary environments, Rodriguez engages the conditions and settings in which art circulates, proposing that the futures of artworks are inherently speculative.

Taking its title from a 1913 short story by Robert Walser about a devoted maid searching for a lost child who has been put under her care, the film similarly follows its subject toward a resolution that is more cyclical than gratifying. After searching around the world for the child for over twenty years, the maid in Walser’s story finally finds her in Paris and immediately dies from joy. The enigmatic story becomes a parable that frames the exhibition, as it tackles the complexity of care-based relationships forged through time, and follows Rodriguez’s ongoing artistic exploration of subjecthood.

Engaging the discourse of sculpture through the tools of cinema, The Maid follows the lives of “related” artworks and recounts the conditional relationships between artist, artwork, and third-party agents (institution, caregiver, surrogate) in familial terms. Through this work, Rodriguez investigates how techniques of modern reproduction—both artistic and biological—are organized around property and kinship structures that are mediated through technology and the law.

Artist Bio

Carissa Rodriguez (US, born 1970 in New York) lives and works in New York City. Her solo exhibition The Maid has been shown at the Art Institute of Chicago (2020); the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2019); MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge (2018); and SculptureCenter, New York (2018). Recent solo exhibitions include CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco (2016); Front Desk Apparatus, New York (2013); Karma International, Zürich (2012). Rodriguez participated in the Whitney Biennial of 2014 and 2019 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. She attended the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2001 and was a core member of Reena Spaulings Fine Art, New York from 2004 to 2015. She is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Art, Film and Visual Studies at Harvard University.

Carissa Rodriguez: The Maid is organized by SculptureCenter, New York, and curated by Ruba Katrib, Curator, MoMA/PS1 and former curator at SculptureCenter, New York. The Hawai’i presentation is organized by Maika Pollack, director and chief curator, John Young Museum of Art and University Galleries and assistant professor of curatorial studies and art history, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

The video commission, The Maid, is underwritten by Valeria Napoleone XX SculptureCenter.

Pamphlet for Carissa Rodriguez: The Maid


University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Department of Art + Art History and College of Arts + Humanities; Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, through appropriations from the Legislature of the State of Hawai‘i and by the National Endowment for the Arts; Student Activity and Program Fee Board, UHM; Halekulani Hotel– Hospitality Sponsor for the Arts at UH Mānoa; and anonymous donors.

Gallery hours + admission:

Mon. – Thurs. 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Sun. 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Closed Saturdays; Election Day, Nov. 3; Veterans Day, Nov. 11 and Thanksgiving, Nov. 26 & 27.

Free admission.

Parking fees may apply during weekdays. Parking is free on Sundays


For more information please contact Sharon Tasaka at 808.956.8364 and