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Wonder Woman Day
Thursday, Oct 21
Celebrate Wonder Woman Day at The Bass.
Celebrate the 80th birthday of the DC-comic book character “Wonder Woman” as The Bass unveils Dara Birnbaum’s Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman (1978-79), a new addition to the museum’s collection .
Birnbaum’s pioneering video appropriates television footage from the 1970’s TV show Wonder Woman, starring Lynda Carter as the titular heroine. Scenes of Carter performing her iconic spin in varying landscapes (transforming from her secretarial persona of “Diana Prince” to her superhero role as “Wonder Woman”) are interspersed with explosive imagery, sirens and 70s funk music. Through the work Birnbaum challenges the idea of a fixed feminine identity in media, probing the multiplicities of womanhood and body politics with the video’s jarring, absurd and faintly violent imagery.
See the work on-view with the price of museum admission.
Dara Birnbaum was born in New York City, in 1946, where she continues to live and work. She received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburg, 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. She was one of the first artists to initiate the design of 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. She is known for her groundbreaking strategies and for using manipulated television and more recently imagery sourced from the Web.
Birnbaum’s work has been widely exhibited at: MoMA PS1, New York (2019); National Portrait Gallery, London (2018); Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio (2018); South London Gallery, UK (2011); major retrosepctives at the Museu de Arte Contemporånea de Serralves, Porto, Portugal (2010) and S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent, Belgium (2009); Center for Contemporary Art, CCA Kitakyushu (2009); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria (2006); and The Jewish Museum, New York (2003). Her work was exhibited in Documenta 7, 8, and 9.
Birnbaum has been the recipient of various distinguished awards, such as: John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2021); The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Arts Residency (2011); the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2011); and the prestigious United States Artists Fellowship (2010). In 2016 she was recognized and honored for her work by The Kitchen, New York, at their annual gala. She is the first woman in video to receive the prestigious Maya Deren Award by the American Film Institute, in 1987. In February 2017, Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Art created The Birnbaum Award in the artist’s honor.