“Dara Birnbaum” is an extensive survey exhibition dedicated to the work of the American artist internationally acclaimed for her pioneering video, media, and installation work.
Curated by Barbara London, with Valentino Catricalà and Eva Fabbris, the exhibition offers different perspectives to understand the distinguished career of Dara Birnbaum (New York, 1946), an artist who consistently has challenged the precepts of art and mass media.
Dara Birnbaum was born in 1946 in New York, where she continues to live and work. After receiving a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, and BFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, she studied 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 addressed the ideological and aesthetic character of mass media imagery over the past four decades and has been considered fundamental to our understanding of the history of media art. She was one of the first artists to design complex and innovative installations that juxtapose imagery from multiple sources while integrating three-dimensional elements—large-scale photographs, sculptural, or architectural elements—into the work. She is known for her groundbreaking strategies and for using manipulated television footage.
“Dara Birnbaum” comprises a selection of single-channel videos, sound works, multi-channel installations, photographs, and 3-D specialized prints on Plexiglas as realized by the artist from 1975 to 2022. This project reveals her deep exploration of the cultural intersections of video art, television, and consumer technologies and – among other themes – the gendered biases reflected in the representation of women in popular culture. The exhibition path conceived by the artist for the two floors of the Osservatorio doesn’t follow a chronological order. However, by employing a carefully selected series of works, it illustrates the wide range of media and artistic languages employed by Birnbaum in her practice and explores the recurrent topics of her ongoing creative work.