Dara Birnbaum. Talking Back to the Media

June 18 – August 6, 2021



Dara Birnbaum, self-portrait, 2006 © the artistDara Birnbaum. Talking Back to the Media, exhibition view Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2021 © photo: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) / Jens ZieheDara Birnbaum. Talking Back to the Media, exhibition view Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2021 © photo: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) / Jens ZieheDara Birnbaum. Talking Back to the Media, exhibition view Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2021 © photo: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) / Jens ZieheDara Birnbaum. Talking Back to the Media, exhibition view Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2021 © photo: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) / Jens ZieheDara Birnbaum. Talking Back to the Media, exhibition view Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2021 © photo: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) / Jens ZieheDara Birnbaum. Talking Back to the Media, exhibition view Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2021 © photo: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) / Jens Ziehe
Curator: Arkadij Koscheew

Dara Birnbaum is a pioneer of video art and has profoundly influenced its visual vocabulary since the 1970s. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the n.b.k. Video-Forum, founded in 1971, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) will host the first solo presentation of Birnbaum’s work in Germany in over 20 years. The focus is on works acquired for the collection of the n.b.k. Video-Forum since the 1980s. Birnbaum’s preoccupation with television, the mass medium of her time, manifests itself in her early works
Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman (1978–1979) and Kiss the Girls: Make Them Cry (1979), which have become canonical works of video art. Her work Lesson Plans (To Keep the Revolution Alive) (1977), consisting of 30 image and text panels, premieres in Germany and relates Birnbaum’s early involvement with standardized cinematic techniques. The development of her own video aesthetic with the aid of visual effects is at the heart of her trilogy Damnation of Faust (1983–1987), which can be viewed on the n.b.k. website as an extension of the exhibition:



Damnation of Faust: Evocation, 1983
Video, color, stereo sound, 10:02 min



Damnation of Faust: Will-O’-the-Wisp (A Deceitful Goal), 1985
Video, color, stereo sound, 5:46 min



Damnation of Faust: Charming Landscape, 1987
Video, color, stereo sound, 6:30 min


Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York,
Collection n.b.k. Video-Forum



Dara Birnbaum (*1946 in New York, lives and works there) is a professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York and has taught at numerous universities, including the Städelschule in Frankfurt/Main, Princeton University, and California Institute of the Arts in Valencia/California. Birnbaum participated several times at Documenta in Kassel (1992, 1987, 1982) and the Venice Biennale (2015, 2003, 2001, 1995, 1984). Recent solo exhibitions include: Cleveland Museum of Art (2018); Serralves Foundation, Porto (2010); S.M.A.K., Ghent (2009); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008); The Jewish Museum, New York (2003).

Discourse program online
From Thursday, July 8, 2021
Artist Talk

With Dara Birnbaum (artist, New York) und Stuart Comer (The Lonti Ebers Chief Curator of Media and Performance, The Museum of Modern Art, New York), moderated by Arkadij Koscheew (curator, Berlin)
In English