Maria Hassabi

HYBRID Biennale Performance 2022/23

The new performative work “Cancelled” by the Cypriot performance artist Maria Hassabi deals with a cross-generational perspective of being a woman.  Four female performers move within a vivid soundscape that emphasizes an endless lifespan. The choreography is composed of individual solos utilizing Hassabi’s signature style of stillness and deceleration, and displays representational female poses based on everyday mannerisms throughout history. CANCELLED reveals a complex choreographic pattern that is enriched by the strength and vulnerability of women in a society that easily oversees the necessity of these characteristics.

Duration: 1 hr.


Performers: Elena Antoniou, Alice Heyward, Shelley Senter, Yukiko Shinozaki

Sound design: Stavros Gasparatos and Maria Hassabi

Outfits: Victoria Bartlett

CANCELLED was produced by the LUMA Foundation and premiered at LUMA ARLES as a result of the Artist-in-Residency Program. It was co-commissioned by and received additional support from FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, in partnership with VIA Art Fund.

Maria Hassabi (b. Cyprus) is an artist and choreographer working with live performance, installation, sculpture, photography and video. 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 and deceleration, her works reflect on concepts of time and the human figure as a physical entity. The artist employs different media and a variety of processes to emphasize the complexity of formal organization. In most of Hassabi’s works the performing body is the main subject, often embedded within imposing installations. Through meticulously crafting her material – every action, even the gaze, is subject to counts and cues – 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. The initial invitation of a spectacle exhausts itself, and a common corporeality and radical intimacy is exposed.