Aki Sasamoto stages her meandering performances against sparsely sketched sets scattered with miscellaneous collections of altered furniture and other household objects. Basing much of her choreography on physical training routines, the artist uses her body as an instrument of communication—perching on, pouncing through, and crawling out of the obstacles she has assembled, treating objects alternately as sets, props, and costumes. Sasamoto’s performances follow the forward momentum of her monologues, as she slowly navigates across the room, forcing the surrounding crowd to shift around her movements. Sasamoto sets her plays inside the mind, tracing diagrams on white drywall backdrops as if on classroom whiteboards, and dancing between the roles of erratic professor, dissatisfied lover, and surreal psychotherapist.
For the High Line, Sasamoto presents Food Rental, a new performance for which she will bring a custom-built food cart to the High Line at the Rail Yards. From her perch inside the cart, the artist will offer visitors an à la carte selection of micro performances and playful narrative demonstrations. Like an off-kilter life hacking workshop, Food Rental will continue Sasamoto’s history of performances that engage visitors with sneakily shifting stage sets and unruly props.
Organized by Cecilia Alemani, Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Director & Chief Curator, and Melanie Kress, High Line Art Associate Curator.
Aki Sasamoto (b. 1980, Japan) lives and works in New York. Recent solo exhibitions and performances have been featured at The Kitchen, New York (2014); Performa 13, New York (2013); Chocolate Factory Theater, New York (2012); and Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (2012). Notable group exhibitions include Parasophia: Kyoto International Festival of Contemporary Culture 2015, Japan (2015); Pier 54, High Line Art, New York (2014); Out Of Doubt: Roppongi Crossing 2013, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2013); A Spoken Word Exhibition, Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris (2013); Omnilogue: Journey to West, Lalit Kara Academy, New Delhi, India (2012); and Greater New York: 5 Year Review, MoMA PS1, New York (2010). Sasamoto’s work has been featured at biennials include the Gwangju Biennial, South Korea (2012), the Whitney Biennial, New York (2010), and Yokohama Triennial, Japan (2008).
This project is supported, in part, by a grant from The Japan Foundation, New York.
High Line Art is presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. High Line Art is made possible by Donald R. Mullen, Jr. and The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston. High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.