A new film by Eric Minh Swenson
For over four decades, Maren Hassinger has explored relationships between the industrial and natural worlds in a practice that is both meditative and critical. From the 1970s on, her sculpture has incorporated common materials associated with manufacturing, mass media, and commerce. In abstract compositions such as those that will be on view at Art + Practice, she transforms wire rope, newspapers, plastic bags, and more into evocations of the beauty found in conditions often dismissed as blighted or marginal.
Hassinger is also a formative practitioner of performance art and site-specific interventions, collaborating with Senga Nengudi and other LA-based artists during the 1970s. Her performances involve dance, as well as movements observed from everyday life, and investigate communal activity and commonalities amongst groups of people. This important body of work will be documented in photographs within the show. Additionally, Hassinger has produced moving videos that address race, gender, and other aspects of identity. Examples included at Art + Practice explore these themes through Hassinger’s interactions with her family members. In one work, she learns for the first time about aspects of her family’s history by interviewing her uncle. In another, filmed in a beautiful East Hampton seaside setting, she engages in improvisational choreography with her daughter, artist Ava Hassinger.
With its focus on relationships between people, materials, and environments, Hassinger’s art is frequently described as “ecological.” The artist clarifies this observation, stating: “I don’t think my work has so much to do with ecology, but focuses on elements, or even problems - social and environmental - that we all share, and in which we all have a stake. I don’t think that’s an ecological statement. I want it to be a humane and humanistic statement about our future together.”
Maren Hassinger: The Spirit of Things is co-presented by The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) and Art + Practice and is organized by the BMA’s Senior Curator of Contemporary Art Kristen Hileman.
For more info on Eric Minh Swenson visit his website at emsartscene.com.
EMS Legacy Films is a continuing series of short films produced by EMS on artists and exhibitions.
His art films can be seen at FILMS BY ERIC MINH SWENSON
Instagram : @ericminhswenson
Eric Minh Swenson also covers the international art scene and his writings and photo essays can be seen at Huffington Post Arts : m.huffpost.com/us/author/eric-minh-swenson/