New Media Series: Dara Birnbaum
September 2–December 11
Gallery 301, Main Building


The latest installment of the Museum's New Media Series presents two innovative works by pioneering American video artist Dara Birnbaum, Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman and Kiss the Girls: Make them Cry. Since the late 1970s, Birnbaum has produced a critically-acclaimed body of work comprised of videos and three-dimensional installations. The iconic imagery and potent, yet subtle analysis of the media and feminist politics in her work remains critically relevant today.

Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman features images appropriated from the 1970s television show "Wonder Woman" to deconstruct language and expose underlying layers of meaning embedded in pop-culture iconography. The work's examination of the almost comical special effects sequence of Diana Prince's transformation from demure, unassuming secretary into her confident superhero alter-ego, Wonder Woman, reveals the ingrained media conventions for representing femininity.

Also on view is another of Birnbaum's most important early works, Kiss the Girls: Make them Cry. Using footage from the popular game show "The Hollywood Squares," this work illuminates the subtle, often unnoticed representations of gender entrenched in television imagery and pop music. Birnbaum isolates and repeats the banal expressions of the men and woman being introduced to unveil TV's stereotyped and gendered gestures of power and submission.

New Media Series: Dara Birnbaum is curated by Hannah Klemm, assistant curator of modern and contemporary art.