Tate acquires work by Maria Hassabi

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Tate has recently acquired Maria Hassabi’s “STAGING: solo” (2017), a live installation for a solo performer.

Since the early 2000s Maria Hassabi has carved a unique practice based on the relation of the live body to the still image and to the sculptural object. Concentrated on stillness, deceleration and aesthetic precision, her works reflect on concepts of time and the human figure as a physical entity. The artist employs different media to emphasize the complexity of formal organization within a variety of processes. In most of Hassabi’s works the performing body is the main subject, often embedded within imposing installations. Through meticulously crafting her material, a constant negotiation between the body’s relation to gravity, time and space, reveals the physical side effects of labor, anchoring both dancers’ and viewers’ awareness to the present moment.

Hassabi refers to the performative works she creates and presents within museum and exhibition spaces, as live installations, a term she coined in 2013. These works reinterpret the principles of theatrical performance into exhibitions spanning days, weeks, or months, adjusting their duration to the public hours of each venue. Hassabi’s live installations fluidly shift between forms and mediums—sculpture, photography, the digital loop—with associative imagery drawn from the world around us. Their framework imbues any spatial action with the semblance of preconceived choreography. Each work reflects the unique context of its presentation, developed in dialogue with the site’s architecture, while considering the norms and hierarchies inherent in museums, theaters, and public spaces.

Her photographic and video works use material from her live performances as a departure point, while the use of technological tools and approaches are employed to override the limitations that occur within the format of liveness and realness.

Her works are presented in festivals, museums, theaters, and public spaces worldwide. Solo exhibitions and presentations include Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong (2023); LUMA Arles (2022); OGR, Turin (2022); Secession, Vienna (2021); Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis (2019); MUDAM, Luxenberg (2019); Point Center for Contemporary Art, Nicosia (2018); K20, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf (2017-18); OCC Stegi Athens (2017); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2017); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2016); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2015); The Kitchen, New York (2019, 2016, 2013, 2011, 2006); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2015); Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2014); Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva (2012); Performance Space 122, New York (2007, 2009).

Her works have also been featured in group exhibitions and festivals such as at Thailand Biennale, Chiang Rai (2023); FRONT Triennial, Cleveland (2022); HELLERAU Theater Festival, Dresden (2022); ob/scene Festival, Seoul (2022); Museion, Bolzano (2021); River to River Festival, NY (2021, 2017, 2014, 2012); Gropius Bau, Berlin (2020); Performa, NY (2019, 2013, 2009); Serralves Museum, Porto (2019, 2015); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2018); documeta14, Kassel (2017); the 55th Venice Biennale (2013); Crossing the Line Festival, NY (2016, 2011, 2009); Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels (2017, 2016, 2014); ArtSonje, Seoul (2015); steirischer herbst, Graz (2014); Panorama Festival, Rio de Janeiro (2012) amongst others.
Hassabi was an Onassis Resident 2019-2022. She received the 2019 Performa Malcolm McClaren Award with Nairy Baghramian; 2016 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award; 2015 Herb Alpert Award; 2012 President’s Award for Performing Arts from LMCC; 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship; 2009 Grants to Artists Award from Foundation for Contemporary Arts. She holds a BFA from California Institute of the Arts. She currently lives in Athens.

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