Video artists are a troubled breed; nobody knows how to sell or collect their work. But heck, even MoMA has a ton of video in their collection, so maybe there’s a model out there that works. I sat down with Dara Birnbaum, the rare video artist who has both a gallery (Marian Goodman Gallery) and a distributor (Electronic Arts Intermix). That double life hasn’t deterred museums and collectors from taking an interest in her work. But, as I gleaned from a lengthy interview with Birnbaum, institutions don’t have a clue about fair compensation—not when MoMA only needs to pay $1,200 for one of her videos.
What follows are parts taken from a longer interview with Birnbaum. She’s grand in her ambitions, which include a steadfast commitment to unlimited editions, sticking with EAI, and stealing images. Oh, and we talk about Hennessy Youngman.