Dara Birnbaum (b. 1946, New York, New York) lives and works in New York City...
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Dara Birnbaum
Marian Goodman Gallery is pleased to continue our artist-centric newsletter IN FOCUS, where we delve deeply into one artist on the MGG roster at a time. Aiming to show a fuller picture of the breadth of our artists' careers, we will feature our favorite stories, podcasts, interviews, artists’ writings and videos from the archive, as well as new and upcoming projects.

Dara Birnbaum (b. 1946, New York, New York) lives and works in New York City, having received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Carnegie Mellon University, a B.F.A. in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, and a Certificate in Video and Electronic Editing at the Video Study Center at the New School for Social Research, New York. Dara Birnbaum’s pioneering video, media, and installation work has, over the past four decades, addressed the ideological and the aesthetic character of mass media imagery and has been considered fundamental to our understanding the history of media art. Birnbaum was one of the first artists to design complex and innovative installations that juxtapose imagery from multiple sources while also integrating three dimensional elements—large-scale photographs, sculptural, or architectural elements—into the work. In her videotapes and multi-media installations, Birnbaum applies both low and high-end video technology to subvert, critique, or deconstruct the power of mass media images and gestures to define mythologies of culture, history and memory. In addition to showing in traditional art spaces, other outlets for Birnbaum’s work have included broadcast television, MTV, video/music clubs, and public spaces such as New York's Grand Central Station.

Today, follow along as we explore the diverse career of Dara Birnbaum ↓

To Dara Birnbaum’s 2015 lecture (turned podcast) for the School of Visual Arts, New York’s MFA program. Birnbaum explores her early interest in art-making wherein she challenged the language of popular television and had her work shown outside of the traditional art space. Birnbaum describes several of her seminal artworks and elaborates on the context that surround them.

Image: PM Magazine, 1982 (partial view). Photo credit: Jonathan Muzikar

XIBT Magazine’s 2020 conversation between Birnbaum and curator/critic Dr. Kostas Prapoglou. Birnbaum discusses how her work has responded to cultural shifts over her career. In thinking about COVID-19 in particular, and the difficulties that have come with it, Birnbaum reflects that “artists have, historically, paved the way for new insights and it is my hope that this can happen again.”

Image: Kiss the Girls: Make Them Cry, 1979.

Dara Birnbaum in conversation with David Gryn, as a part of Art Basel Miami Beach’s 2013 Salon series. Gryn, who curated the fair’s film program, prompts Birnbaum to speak about Arabesque, which was one of several of her films that was featured that year in Miami.

An Evening with Dara Birnbaum, an artist talk Birnbaum gave at Harvard College’s Carpenter Center for Visual Arts in 2018.

Image: Transmission Tower: Sentinel, 1992. Photo Credit: Alex Yudzon.

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