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The Human Condition: Media Art from the Kramlich Collection, 1

Edited by Shannon Jackson (Published by

Thames & Hudson, 2022)

Paula Cooper Gallery and 192 Books invite you to a roundtable on The Human Condition: Media Art from the Kramlich Collection, 1, featuring Dara Birnbaum, Stuart Comer, Chrissie Iles, Shannon Jackson, Shirin Neshat and Pamela Kramlich.

534 West 21st Street
Wednesday, December 14
6:00–7:30 PM, Doors: 5:30 PM

The event will also be livestreamed directly on PCG Studio. There is no login or rsvp required. A recording will be archived. 

Paul Pfeiffer's exhibition Red Green Blue will stay open until 8:00PM at 521 West 21st St.

How does art respond to contemporary social questions? How, especially, can moving image art address the themes that move us most?  At a time when “the screen” has become a ubiquitous but volatile means of global connection, The Human Condition: Media Art from the Kramlich Collection, 1 features artists, curators, and critics who reckon deeply with such questions.  Join a conversation with five of its contributors—artists Dara Birnbaum and Shirin Neshat, curators Stuart Comer and Chrissie Iles, and its editor Shannon Jackson—as they consider how video artists respond to contemporary social issues and the changing conditions of being human in the 21st century. 

Drawn on works from the Kramlich Collection of time-based media art, The Human Condition comments on a range of complex political issues such as civil war, psychological isolation, human rights, gender relations, nuclear catastrophe and planetary degradation. Since their first acquisition in 1987, pioneering collectors Pamela and Richard Kramlich have established one of the foremost international collections of media, video, film, slide, photography, and performance art. In the first of four volumes devoted to the collection, The Human Condition explores signature works by internationally recognized artists such as Marina Abramovic, Doug Aitken, Dara Birnbaum, James Coleman, Pierre Huyghe, William Kentridge, Christian Marclay, Steve McQueen, Richard Mosse, Bruce Nauman, Shirin Neshat, and Nam June Paik.

Dara Birnbaum's provocative video and installation works are among the most influential and innovative contributions to the contemporary discourse on art and television. Through a dynamic televisual language of images, music and text, she exposes the media's embedded ideological meanings and posits video as a means of giving voice to the individual. Key works include: Technology/Transformation: Wonder  WomanTiananmen Square: Break-In TransmissionTransmission Tower: Sentinel. Most recently her work has been simultaneously exhibited at the Hessle Museum/CCS Bard (retrospective) and the Miller ICA (career survey). In 2023, her work will be featured in Signals, MoMA, NY as well as solo exhibitions at the Prada Osservatorio, Milan and Aoyama Prada, Tokyo. Awards include: Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts; United States Artists Fellowship; American Film Institute’s Maya Deren Award; the Birnbaum Award, established in her honor by Carnegie Mellon University; as well as a Certificate of Recognition in the arts bestowed by Derek Bok, then President of Harvard University.

Shirin Neshat is an Iranian-born artist and filmmaker living in New York. Neshat works and continues to experiment with the mediums of photography, video and film, which she imbues with highly poetic and politically charged images and narratives that question issues of power, religion, race, gender and the relationship between the past and present, occident and orient, individual and collective through the lens of her personal experiences as an Iranian woman living in exile. Her awards include the International Award of the Venice Biennale (1999) for her video Turbulent and the Silver Lion Award of the Venice Biennale for Best Director (2009) for her first feature length film Women Without Men. More recently, she received a career retrospective at The Broad, Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again, and released her third feature film, Land of Dreams.

Stuart Comer is The Lonti Ebers Chief Curator of Media and Performance at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. He oversees the collection and a diverse program of exhibitions, events, and acquisitions, while leading the Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Studio. Signature curatorial projects include member: Pope.L, Tania Bruguera: UntitledBRUCE CONNER: IT’S ALL TRUE, and Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America. More recently, he curated Adam Pendleton: Who is Queen? as well as the forthcoming Signals: How Video Art Transformed the World (with Michelle Kuo), 2023.

Chrissie Iles is the Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where she oversees the museum’s time-based media collection. Her curated projects include major thematic exhibitions: Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art 1910-2016Into the Light: The Projected Image in American Art 1964-1977Signs of the Times: Film, Video and Slide Installations in Britain in the 1980s, and Mountain / Time; solo exhibitions including Cauleen Smith: MutualitiesDan Graham: Beyond (with Bennett Simpson), Sharon Hayes: There’s So Much I Want to Say To You; and co-curating the 2004 and 2006 Whitney Biennials. She is co-curating the 2024 Whitney Biennial with Meg Onli.

Shannon Jackson is the Cyrus and Michelle Hadidi Professor and former Associate Vice Chancellor of Arts + Design at the University of California, Berkeley, specializing in socially-engaged art and cross-media art practices. In addition to editing The Human Condition: Media Art from the Kramlich Collection, 1, her books include Social Works (2011), The Builders Association (2015), Public Servants (2016), Back Stages (2022), and the keyword website In Terms of Performance. Jackson’s awards include the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2016), and she serves as board member and advisor for several organizations, including BAMPFA, OMCA, Tippet Rise Art Center, and Headlands Center for the Arts.

Pamela Kramlich is, together with her husband Richard Kramlich, recognized as a visionary private collector of video and media art, establishing one of the foremost international collections of media, video, film, slide, photography, and performance art. She and Richard engaged Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron to design the Kramlich Residence in the Napa Valley, a space that serves as testing ground for innovation in presenting, experiencing, and living with media art. Pamela is a board member at SFMOMA, New Art Trust, and the Tate International Council. She is chairperson for the Media Arts Accessions Committee at SFMOMA and serves on the Media and Performance Committee at MoMA.