Artist Maria Hassabi joins Philip Bither, William and Nadine McGuire Director and Senior Curator, Performing Arts, Walker Art Center, for a conversation about Hassabi’s installation PLASTIC, on view at MoMA February 21–March 20, 2016. The program will be introduced by Thomas J. Lax, Associate Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, MoMA.
Philip Bither has served as senior curator of performing arts at the Walker Art Center since April 1997. At the Walker he has overseen the building of the acclaimed McGuire Theater (opened 2005); raised the Walker’s first dedicated performing arts endowment; commissioned more than 120 new works in dance, music, and performance; and supported dozens of developmental residencies for contemporary artists, both established and emerging. He has curated the performance aspects and contributed to the catalogues of numerous interdisciplinary exhibitions at the Walker, including Art Performs Life: Merce Cunningham/Meredith Monk/Bill T. Jones (1998), Trisha Brown: So That the Audience Does Not Know Whether I Have Stopped Dancing (2008), Naked (Eiko & Koma, 2010), Scaffold Room (Ralph Lemon, 2014), three major commissions with Sarah Michelson, and the upcoming Merce Cunningham: Common Time (2017). In 2011 he helped found the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP) graduate program at Wesleyan University, and he has been a Jerome/Camargo Foundation Trustee (currently serving as vice co-chair) since 2009. He travels globally to research new performance, sits regularly on foundation and government arts panels, and speaks and writes nationally about trends in the contemporary performing arts.