September 17, 2007 - Public Art Fund - Presents Dara Friedman: Musical
September 17, 2007

Presents Dara Friedman: Musical

Dara Friedman

A Series of Singing Performances in Midtown Manhattan
September 17 – October 5, 2007

For three weeks, beginning today, midtown Manhattan will be the stage for Musical, a series of spontaneous actions orchestrated by artist and filmmaker Dara Friedman. From dawn to dusk, and occasionally even in the middle of the night, office workers, mothers, schoolchildren, taxi drivers, doormen, tourists, divas, and grandparents will break into song, creating unexpected musical events and serendipitous urban moments for all who encounter them. Throughout the course of the project, nearly one hundred individual actions will take place throughout the day and night, weekdays only, in the blocks between Grand Central Station and Central Park South, and between Broadway and Park Avenue.

Dara Friedman, who lives and works in Miami, is best known for her film and video installations, in which she uses the techniques of structuralist filmmaking to depict the lushness, ecstasy, and energy of everyday life. She often distills, syncopates, reverses, loops, or otherwise alters familiar sounds and sights, drawing attention to the distinct sensory acts of hearing and seeing. Whether her work portrays a series of narrative fragments or a single evocative scene repeated over and over, Friedman heightens the emotional impact by cutting directly to the films climax in order to, as she puts it, “get to the part you really care about.”

In Musical–her first live, performance-based work–Friedman continues her exploration of universal human experience, focusing on the emotional power of sound and, in particular, its capacity to instantly transform one’s mood or sense of reality. The project plays upon the vitality of city life, especially on the crowded streets of midtown Manhattan, where unexpected and memorable encounters can be a daily occurrence. Friedman, who notes that she wants to “turn the volume up on the song that’s going on in your head as you’re walking down the street,” is interested in blurring the traditional separation between art and life, and between artist and audience. She envisions the project like a series of pebbles thrown into a glassy lake–each performance will cause a ripple effect that lasts for a while, and then the city will return to business as usual.

Over the course of several weeks, the nearly one hundred performances that constitute Musical will tap into and add to the spirit of the streetscape, entering into the city’s collective consciousness. The locations and times of the performances will be unannounced, and each one will appear to be unplanned; most passersby will not know that what they are seeing is part of something larger.

Born in 1968 in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, Dara Friedman now lives and works in Miami. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Gavin Browns enterprise, New York (2007, 2002); The Kitchen, New York (2005); The Wrong Gallery, New York (2004); Kunstmuseum, Thun, Switzerland (2002); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2002); Miami Art Museum (2001); and SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico (2001). Friedman attended University of Miami, School of Motion Pictures (MFA); The Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London; Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; and Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York.
Location and Information Musical will take place from September 17 to October 5 throughout midtown Manhattan, in locations between Grand Central Station and Central Park South, and Broadway and Park Avenue. Performances are unannounced and will take place throughout the day and night.

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Public Art Fund is New York’s leading presenter of artists’ projects, new commissions, installations and exhibitions in public spaces. For 30 years, the Public Art Fund has been committed to working with emerging and established artists to produce innovative exhibitions of contemporary art throughout New York City. By bringing artworks outside the traditional context of museums and galleries, the Public Art Fund provides a unique platform for an unparalleled public encounter with the art of our time.

Recent and current critically acclaimed exhibitions and presentations by Public Art Fund include Damián Ortega’s Obelisco Transportable at Doris C. Freedman Plaza (on view through October 28, 2007); Alexander Calder in New York at City Hall Park (on view through October 14, 2007); The World Is Round, a group exhibition at MetroTech Center in Brooklyn (on view through September 9, 2007); Beth Campbell’s Potential Store Fronts at 125 Maiden Lane (2007); Martin Creed’s Variety Show at Abrons Art Center (2007); Sarah Morris’s Robert Towne at Lever House (2006-7); and Anish Kapoor’s Sky Mirror at Rockefeller Center (2006).

Public Art Fund is a nonprofit arts organization supported by generous contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations, and with public funds from National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
Press Contacts:

Stacy Bolton Communications
(212) 721-5350

Abby Clark
Public Art Fund
(212) 980-4575

Public Art Fund
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