Dafna Maimon (FI/ IL b. 1982 in Porvoo, Finland) lives and works in Berlin
Dafna Maimon’s work can be described as a series of rebellious emotional landscapes; something they depict, but also something that they are.
Her artistic practice is concerned with the reordering of social codes under capitalist consumption in order to re-channel the agency of the individual toward autonomy and to demand a space for closure. Maimon’s work, in particular, deconstructs patriarchal structures and plays with them through exaggeration, substitution, re-contextualization and détournement, allowing individuals to find new ways to make the most of their lives and sense of self. This process can manifest in the creation of anything from performative mini-institutions of their own, in which audiences can participate for several days, or “directed-experiences” lasting a few hours, to immersive performances, films or installations that generate space for reflection, stillness and catharsis.
Maimon’s work further highlights the absurdity of the contemporary demand for individuals to be happy, while they are simultaneous sold a never ending need for self-improvement. Humor is herein used as a strategy to rupture and re-route the ways one is made to desire in consumer societies. In trying to define this conflict, Maimon’s work simultaneously offers open-source alternatives to deal with this distorting condition. As such, these alternatives require making works that engage with small-scale communities, entailing an immersive, anthropological and psychological research into expressions of both individual and communal sensibilities of belonging.
Ultimately, these primarily performative and cinematic works tell illogical and at times absurd human stories touching upon themes such as trauma, memory, play, empathy, family, self-maximalization, and self-awareness in the digital age.
Maimon has shown her work in institutions and art spaces such as Kunst-Werke (Berlin), PS1 Moma (New York), Mahj Jewish Museum (Paris), Kim Center Contemproary Art, (Riga), SPACE Gallery, (Portland Maine), Gallery Wedding (Berlin), Kunstverein Braunschweig, Centre for Contemporary Arts Uzajdowski (Warsaw), Lilith Performance Studio (Malmö), Based in Berlin, Crikoteka, Tadeusz Kantor Center (Krakau), Video Art Midnight (Berlin), HAU 2 (Berlin), Moscow Museum of Modern Art, W139 (Amsterdam), 1646 (The Hague), Project Native Informant (London) New Orleans Film Society with Deltaworkers (New Orleans) and Le Magasin (Grenoble).
Maimon holds a BFA from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and an MFA from the Sandberg Institute Amsterdam. She has been artist in resident at Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin 2015), IASPIS (Stockholm 2014), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (NYC 2012) and at Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting, (Maine 2008). Maimon is a founding member of the artist collective Conglomerate. Since 2016 she teaches video art at Bard College Berlin.