Maria Hassabi: PLASTIC


Choreographer Maria Hassabi’s PLASTIC is a commissioned live installation in which dancers perform throughout MoMA continuously during opening hours. They move between poses at a barely perceptible pace across the Museum’s floors and down its staircases. At moments, their positions recall images of bodies in repose, collapse, or transition. With no fixed beginning and end, PLASTIC reformats the duration of theatrical performance into a month-long museum exhibition. Removing the physical distance between audience and performer, Hassabi’s sustained movement encourages visitors to closely observe the small shifts in the performers’ motions over time. Exploring the tension between stillness and sustained movement, PLASTIC addresses the interface between artistic object and human subject. PLASTIC occupies The Agnes Gund Garden Lobby staircase, The Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium, and the wooden staircase between the fourth- and fifth-floor galleries. On Fridays, PLASTIC is performed only in the Marron Atrium.

Maria Hassabi (b. Cyprus 1973) is a New York-based artist and choreographer. Over the years she has developed a distinct choreographic practice involved with the relation of the body to the still image and the sculptural object. Her works have been presented worldwide in theaters, festivals, museums, galleries, and public spaces, such as ArtSonje, Seoul (2015); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2015); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2015); Australian Center for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2014); Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels (2014); steirischer herbst, Graz (2014); Kunsthalle, Oslo (2014); The Kitchen, New York (2013, 2011, 2006); Performa, New York (2013, 2009); 55th Venice Biennale (2013); Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva (2012), amongst others. Hassabi is a recipient of the 2015 Herb Alpert Award, the 2012 President’s Award for Performing Arts from Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, and received a 2009 Grants to Artists Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. She holds a BFA from California Institute of the Arts.

On Wednesday February 24th at 7:00 p.m. Maria Hassabi will be in conversation with Philip Bither, William and Nadine McGuire Director and Senior Curator, Performing Arts, Walker Art Center in the Marron Atrium.

Maria Hassabi: PLASTIC is co-commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

The exhibition is organized at MoMA by Thomas J. Lax, Associate Curator, with Martha Joseph, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance Art.

Major support for the MoMA presentation is provided by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation and by The Jill and Peter Kraus Endowed Fund for Contemporary Exhibitions.

Generous funding is provided by The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art.