Breaking The Boundaries: Maren Hassinger’s Evolving Practice

A collaborative exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art and Art + Practice, Los Angeles, explores the lesser-known ephemeral works of the sculptor

Maren Hassinger’s 1978 performance Diaries lives on as a series of small, black and white photographs. In the 1970s, a great deal of art pushed back against the hard edges and postpainterly purity of the era’s institutional orthodoxy by re-centring the body and de-centring the object. Save for the archival evidence, you kind of had to be there. In one photograph, Hassinger stands with a tight afro, hands on hips, looking on alongside a tousled, blonde Porta-Pak operator; there are hints of the new ‘California cool’ and black political consciousness in their appearance. Diaries seems to parallel the work that happened at New York’s Judson Dance Theater in the 1960s: movement freed from the strictures of narrative. In another photograph, a man appears to playfully swim across the floor.

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