Dara Birnbaum. PM Magazine. 1982

Dara Birnbaum PM Magazine 1982

  • Not on view

One of the first artists to appropriate television imagery, Dara Birnbaum dissects and recombines television's symbols and codes as a means of resisting its one-way address and encouraging active, critical viewing.

PM Magazine is one of Birnbaum's earliest multi-channel installations. Responding to the marginalization of video artworks in museums and institutions at the time, the artist claimed a space for video by painting two freestanding walls with colors significant to television production of the 1980s: Chroma Key Blue and red, which was considered too vibrant for the broadcast of a stable signal. Four monitors are framed by an industrial Speed Rail support structure similar to hardware used in television production and trade shows. Manipulating and re-editing sequences from the television program PM Magazine and a Wang Laboratories computer commercial, Birnbaum draws on strategies from feminism and institutional critique to alter the meaning and fundamental syntax of mass-media imagery. Set to a post-punk cover of The Doors' "LA Woman," PM Magazine undermines popular culture's emphasis on consumption, leisure, and gender stereotypes.

Gallery label from Cut to Swipe, October 11, 2014–March 22, 2015.
Four-channel video (color, three channels of stereo sound; 6:30 min.), two chromogenic prints, Speed Rail® structural support system, aluminum trim, one wall painted Chroma Key Blue, and one wall painted red
Dimensions variable
Acquired with support from The Modern Women's Fund and The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, through the generosity of Ahmet Kocabiyik and Jill and Peter Kraus, and with Committee on Media and Performance Art Funds
Object number
© 2019 Dara Birnbaum. Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York and Paris
Media and Performance

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