Dia presents a yearlong installation by artist Maren Hassinger at Dia Bridgehampton, New York. Spanning five decades, the artist’s wide-ranging practice examines intersections between ecology, humanity, and identity. Hassinger, who lived in East Hampton and taught at Stony Brook Southampton on Long Island during the 1990s, has created a site-specific installation for Dia Bridgehampton.
The installation on the first floor features a series of hanging fabric panels, each of which is printed with an image of one of the artist’s bush sculptures and sized to the exact measurements of the sole exposed window in the gallery. For this new work, Hassinger has chosen to use documentation of her outdoor installation Circle of Bushes, which was organized by Long Island University, C. W. Post Campus, Brookville, New York, in 1991. Although the original installation consisted of five bush sculptures arranged in a circle, Hassinger has selected a photograph that gives focus to the details of a singular sculpture. The image has been printed on multiple, diaphanous fabric panels, which are suspended and organized in a grid. Facing the entrance to the gallery, the series of panels resembles a field or forest.
Installed on Dia Bridgehampton’s back lawn and visible through the gallery window is a new bush sculpture, Hassinger’s first such work in several years. Anchored into the ground with concrete, the work is made of lengths of galvanized steel rope and arranged like a bundle of twigs. Though the form extends up and out of the earth, evoking and imitating organic growth, the unbound metal ropes point to both a loss of the natural and a concurrent undoing of the industrial.