Dare Ayorinde, Ching-I Chang, Miriam Gabriel, Luke Miller in Susan Marshall and Martha Friedman, Two Person Operating System Type 2, 2021. Hurley Gallery, Princeton University, June 2021. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor.

Martha Friedman and Susan Marshall

Two Person Operating System Type 2

On View: February 3-February 5

The Kitchen at Westbeth (163B Bank Street, 4th Floor Loft)


February 3 and 4, 5pm, Free with RSVP, Reservations forthcoming

Two Person Operating System Type 2 continues sculptor Martha Friedman and choreographer Susan Marshall’s performance-installation series examining the intimate relationships between moving bodies and objects.

Working with industrial objects and materials such as rubber and metal, dancers activate sculptures in complex patterns, probing preconceptions of the material boundaries of the body.

In this iteration, two towers of metal tubes are each capable of supporting metal spikes and rotating in place. Long, fleshy rubber ropes are inserted, spooled and twisted through the sculpture by dancers engaging with the objects and each other in a series of methodical tasks performed with workerly precision. The evolving patterns of action and design explore the tensions between work and product, danger and intimacy, absurdity and purpose, soft and hard, in and out. This serves to complicate expectations of clear, binary contrasts often raised in gendered conversations about physical bodies.

Susan Marshall and Martha Friedman: Two Person Operating System Type 2 is organized by Matthew Lyons, Curator, with Angelique Rosales Salgado, Curatorial Assistant.


Martha Friedman (b. 1977, Detroit, MI), earned a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1998) and an MFA from the Yale School of Art (2003). Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Art@Bainbridge, Princeton University Art Museum, NJ (2022); the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA (2018); the Institute of Fine Arts Great Hall, New York, NY (2016–2017); and Locust Projects, Miami, FL (2015–2016), among others. She frequently collaborates with choreographers Susan Marshall and Silas Riener, reflecting her interest in the intersection of sculpture and dance. Friedman is currently a senior lecturer in visual art at Princeton University, and she lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Martha Friedman is represented by Broadway, New York and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco.

Choreographer Susan Marshall has collaborated with visual artists, scientists and composers on theater productions and gallery installations. Employing modest means to resonant effect, her movement vocabularies often include everyday gestures distilled to near abstraction. Interdependency, freedom within constraints and humor are constants in her work and process. Her collaboration with set designer Mimi Lien—grounded in conversations with members of the neurodiverse community—led to the recent performance-installation, Rhythm Bath. She has received MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships and three “Bessie” Awards. Her company has performed worldwide and at Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Kitchen, New York Live Arts, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Andrea Rosen Gallery, Kennedy Center, UCLA, Krannert Center, Walker Art Center and Montclair State University among many others. Her work is in the repertories of Nederlands Dans Theatre, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Pacific Northwest Ballet and others. Marshall is a professor and the Director of Dance at Princeton University.


The Kitchen’s programs are made possible in part with support from The Kitchen’s Board of Directors, The Kitchen Leadership Fund, and the Director’s Council, as well as through generous support from The Amphion Foundation, Inc., Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Cowles Charitable Trust, Joseph and Joan Cullman Foundation for the Arts, Inc., Ford Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, Marta Heflin Foundation, Lambent Foundation Fund, a fund of Tides Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Open Society Foundation, The Jerome Robbins Foundation, Ruth Foundation For The Arts, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Simons Foundation, and Teiger Foundation; and in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.