Dara Birnbaum b. 1946
Six Movements: Video Works from 1975
1975, 41:12 min, b&w, sound

Chaired Anxieties: Abandoned 1975, 5:15 min, b&w, silent

Chaired Anxieties: Slewed
1975, 13:06 min, b&w, sound

Chaired Anxieties Addendum: Autism
1975, 7:20 min, b&w, sound

1975, 6:01 min, b&w, silent

Control Piece
1975, 5:55 min, b&w, silent

1975, 3:30 min, b&w, sound

Six Movements: Video Works from 1975 is a limited edition boxed set that represents Birnbaum's earliest experiments with the video medium. These six performance-based works, in which the artist explores a woman's psychological states through physical gestures, are raw, direct, and unmediated. The young Birnbaum appears on camera, alone, as the performer. (By the late 1970s she would no longer appear on-screen, although she would often employ female figures as surrogates.) The pieces introduce themes that recur throughout her work, particularly the articulation of a feminist subtext through the central figure of a woman who is presented as both strong and vulnerable. She investigates the body as a vehicle for intense emotional or psychological manifestations while also foregrounding the relation of the camera/viewer and subject/performer. Although Birnbaum famously broke new ground in video by engaging directly with popular television as source material, these earliest works reveal a link to the Body art and performance-video practices of the generation of artists who immediately preceded her, such as Vito Acconci, Joan Jonas, and Bruce Nauman. -- EAI

This title is available for exhibitions, screenings, and institutional use through Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), NY. Please visit the EAI Online Catalogue for further information about this artist and work. The EAI site offers extensive resources for curators, students, artists and educators, including: an in-depth guide to exhibiting, collecting, and preserving media art; A Kinetic History: The EAI Archives Online, a collection of essays, primary documents, and media charting EAI's 40-year history and the early years of the emergent video art scene; and expanded contextual and educational materials.