Floor Three, Susan and John Hess Family Theater
Beginning on February 9, artists MPA, Amapola Prada, and Elizabeth Marcus-Sonenberg enter Orbit, a continuous ten-day performance staged in the narrow space between the windowpanes of the Whitney’s theater, overlooking the Hudson River.
The enclosed environment—which includes a composting toilet, plants, a ten-day supply of food and water, basic bedding, a treadmill, instruments, and a three-camera video surveillance system—is inspired by the simulation projects conducted by universities and space agencies to test human life on spacecrafts and on Mars. The participants’ conditions partially emulate those of astronauts orbiting Earth: sleeping in scheduled rotations, receiving messages on a delay, exercising daily, and tracking their energy usage. They embark on Orbit without rehearsal, each with their own assignments, objectives, and visions of the future and survival. They transmit messages across the glass to beings both present and unseen. The endeavor is, in the artist’s words, “real theater.” The Orbiters exit on February 19, 2017, in the performance Assembly.
Orbit is live 24-hours a day for ten Earth days, from February 9 to 19, 2017 and is on view from either side of the window, in the Whitney's Hess Theater during regular Museum hours, and 24/7 at the corner of West and Gansevoort Street. A series of theatrical climaxes will occur each day, full schedule forthcoming.
Orbit is movement III 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.
Entrance to the theater is free with Museum admission. Please note: the theater will close at noon on Sunday, February 19 in preparation for the ticketed performance Assembly.