Location: Floor Three, Susan and John Hess Family Theater
Assembly marks the dramatic finale of Orbit. Ending on a dissonant chord, this theatrical event marks the Orbiters’ exit, and orchestrates a culminating series of actions within a live environment by M. Cay Castagnetto (sound) and Maria Shaplin (lighting).
Assembly is movement IV of the four-part, unfolding exhibition MPA: RED IN VIEW, which includes an installation in the John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Gallery on the Museum’s first floor.
This event has reached ticketing capacity. A limited number of standby tickets may be available at the admissions desk on a first-come, first-served basis.
Doors open at 7:15 pm, and the exhibition MPA: RED IN VIEW will be on view on the Museum’s first floor. Ticket holders are guaranteed admission until the start of the program, at which time any unclaimed seats will be released. Tickets cannot be refunded or exchanged.
Amapola Prada, Elizabeth Marcus-Sonenberg, and MPA (Orbiters); Lydia Okrent and Mariana Valencia (Moons); M. Cay Castagnetto (Sound Environment); Maria Shaplin (Lighting Design); Jason Hughes (Scenic Design); General Sisters (Dana Bishop-Root and Ginger Brooks-Takahashi) (Food and Nourishment); Trina Merry (Body Painting); Allie Tepper, Greta Hartenstein, and Jay Sanders (Ground Control); Malin Arnell (Former Orbiter); Allie Tepper (Dramaturge); Red Robinson, Greta Neunder, Felice Shays, Eva Mueller, Jo Collura, Des, and more (Battery)
MPA (b. 1980) invited Amapola Prada (b. 1978) and Malin Arnell (b. 1970) to join Orbit in the summer of 2016. They engaged in frequent long-distance calls between California, Peru, Sweden, and Germany from September 2016 to February 4, 2017. Elizabeth Marcus-Sonenberg was invited on February 6 to join MPA and Prada after Arnell withdrew from entering Orbit. MPA and Prada met in Oaxaca, Mexico, as part of La Pocha Nostra’s workshop and performance gathering in July 2006 and traveled together in Peru and Mexico shortly thereafter. In September 2015, Prada began a long sensory and intuitively focused work in Cusco, Peru, of which the structure of Orbit will be the second stage. She will continue this work in Mexico, after exiting Orbit, in March 2017. In 2011, MPA made two live works in New York with Prada: Revolution. Two Marks in Rotation at Leo Koenig Projekte and Explosion at AC Institute. Marcus-Sonenberg arrives from Los Angeles, where she and MPA met in 2013 in a vibrant performative community. As a performance artist, writer, body worker, and somatic researcher, Marcus-Sonenberg is committed to investigating nonlocal communication, the persuasive power of personal cosmologies, and healing. Orbit is the first time that Marcus-Sonenberg and Prada have met in person.
M. Cay Castagnetto was born in Lima and moved to London in 1998, where she worked with film and video in collectives such as The maryKelly and bands including Antifamily, ON FORM, and Sonora. Radio productions include collaborations with Beatrice Dillon and Kaffe Mathews on Resonance FM and BBC Radio. She has exhibited and performed in venues such as the Oberhausen International Kurzfilmtage, Germany; Vivienne Westwood’s Art of Elysium, Los Angeles; Kunstverein Munchen; Kagurazaka die pratze, Tokyo; La Casa Encendida, Madrid; and Café OTO, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Showroom, and Matt’s Gallery, London. In 2013, Castagnetto relocated to Twentynine Palms, California. She and MPA collaborate on live performances as the group MAL PAIS with guests such as Math Bass and Laurie Weeks, among others. Castagnetto has made sound compositions for performances by MPA at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the TBA Festival in Portland, Oregon. She continues to be part of the Cinenova Collective, a feminist film and video distributor based in London.
Cay Castagnetto would like to thank Irene Revell, MV Carbon, Sara Gernsbacher, James Caperton, Math Bass, MPA, Bjorn Copeland, Jeff Cook, Bleue Liverpool, Lucas Gonzalez and Daniel Smith for their contributions to the sound work for Assembly.
Maria Shaplin is a lighting designer focusing on new, formally experimental, and immersive performance. She is the cofounder of Applied Mechanics, a Philadelphia-based collective examining narrative multiplicity and assemblage. She received her MFA in lighting design from Temple University and has a BA in anthropology and sociology from Hampshire College. She is a recipient of the 2015 Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts. Shaplin works with many companies, including: the Riot Group, Swim Pony Performing Arts, InterACT, the Arden, Team Sunshine Performance Corporation, People’s Light and Theater, New Paradise Laboratories, the Berserker Residents, Nichole Canuso Dance Company, Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental, PlayPenn, and Headlong Performance Institute. Shaplin also practices graphic design, web design, and scenography. www.mariashaplin.com
Jason Hughes has spent his career in technical theater and arts production, both professional and academic. As the owner/technical director of LNJ Tech Services in Beacon, New York, he has the opportunity to work on a variety of projects across industries and interests united in their need for creative problem-solving and expert execution. Hughes and his partner, Luc Stampleman, enjoy the mix of scenery construction, custom wood and metal fabrication, event lighting, and audio, among other projects, that have filled their days since they decided to make LNJ their full-time jobs. It is a pleasure, an honor, and a wonderful challenge working with MPA and the Whitney, made more meaningful by the focus on sustainability. At home in Beacon, Hughes and his wife, Carley, are involved in composting, local organic farming, Carley’s gluten-free bakery, and raising their daughter, Ella, and their two big dogs. @LNJTECH #madeinbeacon
General Sisters (founded 2009, North Braddock, PA; Dana Bishop-Root, b. 1981; Ginger Brooks Takahashi, b. 1977) is the process of a general store located in North Braddock, Pennsylvania. Stocked with affordable food and ingredients, General Sisters makes eating, sharing, and gathering available to neighbors within walking distance. General Sisters turns routine transactions into possibilities for exchange that recognize the environmental and economic realities of its clients. General Sisters feeds the community literally and figuratively by confronting the racial and economic injustices evident in the food system and neighborhood, and working actively to change them. Dana Bishop-Root has worked and lived in North Braddock for nine years, is a member of Transformazium, and works at the Braddock Carnegie Library. Her work grows alongside local systems of communication, exchange, and resource distribution. Ginger Brooks Takahashi is a socially enraged artist and gardener who has lived in North Braddock for four years. An active collaborator with other artists, she is a founding member of LTTR and projet MOBILIVRE/BOOKMOBILE project.
Lydia Okrent has worked with Vanessa Anspaugh, Malin Arnell, Lauren Bakst, Strauss Bourque-LaFrance, Kim Brandt, Tess Dworman, Hilary Clark, Moriah Evans, MPA, and Mariana Valencia. Lydiaokrent.info
Mariana Valencia is a dance artist who has had residencies at Chez Bushwick, NYLA, Show Box L.A., Pieter PASD, ISSUE Project Room, and is a current BAX Artist In Residence. Valencia has received support from the Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, Yellow House Fund of the Tides Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, and the Center for Performance Research’s Andrew W. Mellon Artist-in-Residence Program. Her performance collaborations include projects with dance artists Kim Brandt and robbinschild; video artists Elizabeth Orr, A.K. Burns, and Kate Brandt; and musician Jules Gimbrone. Valencia is the coeditor of Movement Research Critical Correspondence and a member of the No Total reading group.