PRODUCED – Maria Hassabi / PLASTIC – a live installation

Maria Hassabi: PLASTIC – a live installation
February 21, 2016–March 20, 2016
Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium and stairwells in the Museum

Maria Hassabi’s PLASTIC, a commissioned live-installation, explores the tension between stillness and sustained movement, in an artwork whose material is the human being. PLASTIC features dancers moving at a glacial pace in an extended choreographed loop, bridging the blurred lines between conventions of display, performer and object, bystander and viewer. PLASTIC addresses how the spectacle of performance can be presented within the exhibition space. PLASTIC  occupies the staircase leading from the ground floor into the Museum’s Marron Atrium, the atrium itself, and the staircase between the fourth- and fifth-floor galleries.

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.


Maria Hassabi (b. Cyprus) 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 image, defined by sculptural physicality and extended duration. Her works draw their strength from the tension between the human subject and the artistic object, the dancer as a performer and as a physical entity.
Her works include PLASTIC (2015); PREMIERE (2013); INTERMISSION (2013); Counter-Relief (2013); SHOW (2011); Robert and Maria (2019); SoloShow (2009); Solo (2009); GLORIA (2007); Still Smoking (2006); Dead is Dead (2004); LIGHTS (2001). She has also has also created several short-form pieces, installations including A Dance without Dance (2015); PLASTIC (2015); CHANDELIERS (2012), and a short film, The Ladies (2012).
Hassabi’s works are presented in theaters, festivals, museums, galleries and public-spaces worldwide. In the US in venues such as Hammer Museum (Los Angeles); The Kitchen (New York); Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (Chicago); CCS Bard Galleries at Bard College (Hudson, NY); Danspace Project (NY); PS122 (NY); Portland Institute for Contemporary Art TBA Festival (Oregon); Ballroom Marfa (Texas); Dance Theater Workshop (NY); PS1 MoMA (NY); and have been included in festivals such as Performa ’09 and Performa 13’; Fi:af’s Crossing the Line Festival in 2009 and 2011, and LMCC’s River to River Festival in 2012 and 2014.
Internationally at venues such as Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, Netherlands); Het Veem Theater (Amsterdam, Netherlands); Australian Center for Contemporary Art (Melbourne, Australia); CentrePasaquArt (Biel, Switzerland); Vienna Art Fair (Austria); Centre d’Art Contemporain Geneva (Switzerland); Middleheim Museum (Antwerp, Belgium), Beit Hair Center for Urban Culture (Tel Aviv, Israel); Museo Soumaya (Mexico City); Frascati Theater (Amsterdam, Netherlands); deSingel (Antwerp, Belgium); Kaaitheater (Brussels, Belgium).
Hassabi’s work has also been featured in international festivals such as BONE 17 (Bern, Switzerland); “Soft City” at Kunsthall Oslo (Oslo, Norway); Le Mouvement: The City Performed (Biel, Switzerland); Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels, Belgium), XING (Bologna, Italy), NEAT Festival (Nottingham, UK); Göteborgs Dans & Teater Festival (Göteborg, Sweden); Volcano Extravaganza 2013 (Stromboli, Italy); Dance4 (Nottingham, UK); Performatik Festival (Brussels, Belgium); Panorama Festival (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil); Festival Contemporãneo de Danca (São Paulo, Brazil); City of Women Festival (Ljublana, Slovenia); Springdance Festival (Utrecht, Netherlands); ImPulsTanz (Vienna, Austria), Tanz im August (Berlin, Germany); In-Presentable Festival (Madrid, Spain), TSEH- Springdance/Dialogue (Moscow, Russia), and festivals in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Greece and Portugal.
Maria Hassabi is a recipient of the 2015 Herb Alpert Award, a 2012 recipient of The President’s Award for Performing Arts from the LMCC, a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, and a 2009 Grants to Artists Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. In 2013 she represented Cyprus as part of The Cyprus and Lithuanian Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale..

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