Saint Louis Art Museum

1 Fine Arts Drive, Forest Park
MO - 63110-1380 St. Louis

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The second installation in the Museum’s New Media series features work by Dara Friedman. Friedman’s films and videos have strong relationships with the structuralist films of the 1960s as well as with the media work of the 1980s and 1990s. She studied with experimental Austrian structuralist filmmaker Peter Kubelka, but unlike her predecessors Friedman does not reject the Hollywood film industry or strive for minimal purity.

Friedman’s Government Cut Freestyle is a video loop of youngsters diving off a bridge into the water below. About this work Friedman has written: “Before I shot the piece, I interviewed maybe 100 kids and asked them what they like to do most and if they could do anything what would it be. Oddly, the response to the former question was mostly ‘sleep,’ and the latter ‘fly.’ So for me Government Cut Freestyle is a union of the ‘sleep flying,’ a wish fulfillment space in which through slight slow-motion you can examine a moment of release; at the same time there’s this very relaxing sensation of counting sheep; a waterfall. It’s the paradox of these two sensations that I was interested in.” Focusing on the repetition of dives, Friedman lulls viewers by the sameness of the imagery and keeps them alert with the differences of each body, each jump, each flight. This motion might be compared to the crashing of waves on the shoreline, a repetition that is soothing, reassuring, inspiring, and infinitely different. Friedman achieves beauty through the simplicity of motion she sees in the everyday world.

Dara Friedman received an MFA from the University of Miami, School of Motion Pictures and has attended The Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London; Stadelschule, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; and Vassar College. Her work has been exhibited at numerous museums including the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.


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Dara Friedman - Government Cut Freestyle