Recent Acquisitions of Feminist Video Art on view in Museum of Art’s Media Gallery

Film still from "Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman" (1978–79) by Dara Birnbaum. On view in February 2017 at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Film still from “Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman” (1978–79) by Dara Birnbaum. On view in February 2017 at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art

The Museum’s media gallery currently features a rotation of recent acquisitions that represent iconic artists working at the intersection of feminist video art and performance art: Joan Jonas (American, born 1936), Dara Birnbaum (American, born 1946), and Pipilotti Rist (Swiss, born 1962).

Through January 30, the gallery screens Vertical Roll (1972) by Joan Jonas, a highly acclaimed artist who represented the United States in the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. Vertical Roll is representative of Jonas’s early work that investigated the properties of video itself, such as glitches and signal disruptions, as well as the female body as a performative site.

For the month of February, Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman (1978–79) by Dara Birnbaum will be on view. Combining appropriated music and television recording, this disrupted and repetitive work focuses on Wonder Woman’s spinning transformation between secretary and superhero, and lodges a critique of gender in pop culture.

From March 1 to April 16, I’m Not the Girl Who Misses Much (1986) by Pipilotti Rist will be on view. In this early work, Rist is shown dancing for the camera and singing a variation on a line from a Beatles’ song. By altering the video’s speed and color in post-production, Rist manipulates the pace of the movement and sound from dirge-like slow motion to a frenetic and maniacal chaos, destabilizing the meaning of emotion and time.

thumb:Chinese, "Jar (Guan)," 3000-2500 BC, painted ceramic. Gift of George and Elaine Keyes in honor of Barry Mills. Bowdoin College Museum of Art.