One of Dara Birnbaum's earliest two-channel installations, Attack Piece consists of two monitors placed on facing walls, which show the images recorded during performative clashes or confrontations between Dara Birnbaum and the artists Dan Graham, Ian Murray and David Askevold, and other friend. The action was filmed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1975. Birnbaum, “armed” with a 35mm still camera, takes a relatively fixed position as she tries to defend her territory. Meanwhile, four people attempt to penetrate her physical and mental space with the help of a super-8 camera. Both sets of images are then transferred to a third medium – video – and screened on two monitors. In addition to literal and obvious references, Attack Piece also evokes the invasive capacity of the media in everyone’s life, when, in contemporary violence, the weapon is no longer a physical object, but an image code. “Artists have always questioned a dominant way of looking at the world”, Birnbaum explained in a recent interview.

WORKS IN THE COLLECTION BY DARA BIRNBAUM

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Gold does not take on any dirt. And gold, just are diamonds, is an exalted material. It possesses such a degree of abstraction that it encounters you –if you use it artistically– on an already exalted level.
James Lee Byars