Maren Hassinger, “Performance of Pink Trash” (1982) (performance documentation courtesy Horace Brockington)

In 1982, Maren Hassinger collected bits of white trash that she found scattered in Central, Van Cortlandt, and Prospect Parks. What most would treat with disgust, Hassinger handled with care, painting each discarded tissue, cup, or cigarette butt baby pink. Clad in pink herself, she then returned to the three parks and returned the scraps to where she’d found them, transforming everyday litter into something almost whimsical.

This performance, “Pink Trash,” originally commissioned by the organization Art Across the Park, is being restaged in Prospect Park this Sunday as part of the Brooklyn Museum’s exhibition We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women 1965–85. In a 2015 BOMB interview, Hassinger traces the origins of this work to a show she did with CalArts students in Lynwood, also in 1982. “It was a very blighted neighborhood, where houses had been torn down to make room for a stalled freeway project, and it felt like a weird ghost town,” she recalls. “I decided to make some pink paths through this desolate landscape. I remember the dead grass and how the pink popped against the brownish green as I was putting down the paint.”

For more context about the period Hassinger worked in, attend the free curator tour of We Wanted a Revolution one hour prior to this still-provocative performance.

When: Sunday, July 23, 1–3pm (tour starts at 1pm; walk to Prospect Park at 2pm)
Where: Tour meets in Rubin Lobby of the Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn). For the performance, meet in front of the museum. Free with museum admission.

More info here.

Elisa Wouk Almino is a senior editor at Hyperallergic. She is based in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.