With a few exceptions, such as Lorna Mills’ At Play in the Field of the Lord opening Saturday at TRANSFER, there doesn’t seem to be an overwhelming number of great shows opening this week. Which is kind of nice, actually. Take some time get the most out of art instead of rushing around to see it all. Tomorrow night, head to James Concannon’s book launch and leisurely leaf through his collection of dick pics. Attend a lecture or take a tour with Visual AIDS and reminisce about the 80s. Head to a discussion about feminist art at Artists Space on Friday. And Saturday, spend six hours listening to experimental music and watching performances from Psychic TV and other genre-bending artists. If that hasn’t expanded your mind enough, head to MoMA on Sunday for a documentary about the surreal album art of Storm Thorgerson. After a few busy weeks, isn’t it nice to sit with art and relax?
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.