DARA BIRNBAUM

  • the Best of 2015

    TO TAKE STOCK OF THE PAST YEAR, ARTFORUM ASKED AN INTERNATIONAL GROUP OF ARTISTS TO SELECT A SINGLE IMAGE, EXHIBITION, OR EVENT THAT MOST MEMORABLY CAPTURED THEIR EYE IN 2015.

    YUJI AGEMATSU

    Silicone snake, West 42nd and Broadway, New York, July 29, 2015.

    RON NAGLE

    This picture was taken along the waterfront in San Francisco’s Mission Bay area. This area is extremely scenic, with old battleships and boats. I go there frequently to walk my dog, relax, and enjoy the fantastic views. The pier is used to store various components for seasonal parades or events. This grouping of floats for the Pride

  • IN CONVERSATION: DARA BIRNBAUM AND CORY ARCANGEL

    IF CERTAIN CRITICAL OPERATIONS first explored by artists during the 1970s and ’80s have since become nearly ubiquitous in visual culture—with, for example, the isolation and manipulation of popular imagery, once the purview of avant-garde practice, now common among homemade videos placed online—then what are the most significant obstacles, opportunities, and shifts in attitude for artists working in these modes now? Artforum invited DARA BIRNBAUM—pioneering video artist and subject of a pivotal retrospective next month at the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium (April 4–August 2)—to sit down with media artist and programmer CORY ARCANGEL and compare notes on art in light of widespread appropriation, outmoded applications, and increasingly divergent audiences. Part of their conversation has been reproduced below. For the rest, pick up the March issue of Artforum.

    CORY ARCANGEL: Recently I read an interview in which you said clubs provided one of the first outlets for your videos. In other words, you felt you could make videos to be projected in clubs at the same time you made videos that were to be shown in art spaces. Was that specific to the time? It made me wonder how the context for video has changed over the past thirty years or so.

    DARA BIRNBAUM: Well, to clarify just a bit, I was saying that whenever I made a work, I believed it could be inserted into different contexts. It wasn’t that I was actually making different work for a specific venue. You

  • THEIR FAVORITE EXHIBITIONS OF 2008

    To take stock of the past year, Artforum contacted an international group of artists to find out which exhibitions were, in their eyes, the very best of 2008.

    DUNCAN CAMPBELL

    James Coleman, Background, 1991–94 (Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin) Existential photo-novel? Soap opera? Mail-order-catalogue photo shoot? Coleman’s installations, pairing slide projection with synchronized audio, don’t lend themselves to easy categorization. In Background, shown at the Irish Museum of Modern Art this year, the male narrator’s voice adds to the general dislocation, straining earnestly to convey some sort

  • OUT OF THE BLUE, A PROJECT FOR ARTFORUM

    By “popular” . . . was meant a certain range of reference, a style of delivery, and a claim—mostly implicit, but flaunted on the right occasion—to be addressing one kind of audience and excluding several others. . . .

    —T.J. Clark, The Painting of Modern Life

    HOWARD BEACH, a predominantly white, working-class neighborhood in Queens, dominated New York City headlines in late December 1986. A group of white teenagers there had beaten a black man named Michael Griffith and his two companions with sticks, baseball bats, and other weapons. Fleeing his attackers, Griffith ran onto the Belt Parkway,