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Dara Friedman (b. 1968, Bad Kreuznach, Germany; lives in Miami) uses everyday sights and sounds as the raw material for film and video artworks that reverberate with emotional energy. Friedman engages tendencies in 20th century experimental cinema that call for a radical reduction of the medium to its most essential material properties. The artist crafts each of her films with meticulous care, making precise choices with respect to camerawork, film stock, and editing strategy while taking into consideration every aspect of the presentation of her work in physical space, from the scale of the images to the specific qualities of the playback equipment. In place of linear storylines, her films typically portray straightforward gestures and situations that she has planned out in advance and that unfold according to predetermined rules and guidelines.

Yet for all of Friedman’s strenuous logic and discipline, her approach remains unabashedly sensual and emotive. Bearing rich imagery and a strong emphasis on bodily experience, her films generate moments of high-pitched, cathartic intensity as well as serene, even euphoric interludes. In recent years, Friedman has increasingly explored the charged boundaries between the public and private spheres, working with musicians, dancers, actors, and other individuals selected through casting calls and auditions. These experimental collaborations dovetail with the artist’s longstanding endeavor to use her work as a means of engendering empathy while pounding on the walls that separate viewer from subject, artist from audience, self from other.

Spanning more than 20 years of creative production, this immersive exhibition is Friedman’s first mid-career survey and the largest presentation of her work to date. The presentation is accompanied by a full-color, bilingual catalogue with contributions by PAMM curator René Morales, Rochelle Steiner, and Ali Subotnick.

Dara Friedman: Perfect Stranger is organized by PAMM Curator René Morales and presented by Citi with generous support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Lead individual support received from Dennis Richard and Susan Bell Richard, Mark and Nedra Oren, and George Lindemann. Support from the J.W. Marriott Marquis Miami and Veuve Clicquot is also gratefully acknowledged.


Pérez Art Museum Miami 
1103 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, Florida 33132 | U.S.A.


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