About Cassidy Dawn Graves

Contact: cassidydawngraves@gmail.com / Twitter: @malegazegraves

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Exhibitions To See: 8-Bit Reality, Kathleen White, Immigrant Women

(image courtesy of Catinca Tabacaru Gallery)

Lateral Thinking With Withered Technology
Opening Thursday, December 14 at Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through January 21.

Though the title of this exhibition may call to mind a really wrinkly cell phone, it is in fact a reference to the ideology of the creator of the Nintendo Game Boy, Gunpei Yokoi. This sort of reference feels right at home when it comes to this show by Shinji Murakami, which will transform a gallery space into an illuminated augmented reality playland. His materials of choice tend to be more traditional, such as wood, plastic, and glue, but he also uses vast amount of LED lights. Altogether, this creates a homage to 1980s gaming, particularly the simple and nostalgic 8-bit aesthetic. In the midst of this 8-bit world, the artist has turned an LED panel into a real-time display of Elon Musk’s Twitter feed, a clear reminder that while the gallery may look rooted in the technology of the past, we are in the present, and it’s a present that may not be too far away from colonizing other planets. Keep Reading »

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Circus of Dreams Ends Its Five-Year Run, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(image via Circus of Dreams / Facebook, photos by Nick McManus)

Circus of Dreams
Wednesday, December 6 at Bizarre Bushwick, 9 pm: $10 suggested donation

This performance art variety show, originally hosted by bearded street performer Matthew Silver, was one of the first shows in New York I saw that wasn’t a formal “theater” show, and it truly bewildered and impressed me. It was strange, daring, messy, stressful, loud, rule-breaking, sometimes all of those things, sometimes none of them. It made me realize that there was this whole community of performance I didn’t know about or thought wasn’t around anymore, and I found myself involved in the show first as friend of performers, then recurring door worker, then occasional performer. Since then, the host and producer has changed to show regular Lindsee Lonesome but the spirit has stayed the same. Tonight, after five years, Circus of Dreams will happen for the final time, and it truly feels like the end of an era. So, if you’re free, pop by Bizarre to see some of the show’s veterans and newbies alike take that scrappy stage for the last time. I’ll be at the door. Keep Reading »

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A 4-Hour Hug and More Art to Embrace This Week

(image courtesy of Michael Alan)

Mind Body Sound
Opening Saturday, December 9 at Khorasheh + Grunert, 8 pm to midnight. On view December 6 – 9.

One wouldn’t normally associate an art opening with instances of prolonged hugging. Unless it’s the mouths of eager wine consumers hugging the rim of that little plastic cup they always give you at art openings. But at artist Michael Alan’s opening reception, there will be one very literal hug that will last for a whopping four hours. The participants will be Alan himself and his partner Jadda Cat, who will be doing the deed (hugging, that is) while covered in Alan’s visual artwork, stationed in the unmissable center of the gallery. This exhibition and performance is part of a long-running (17 years, to be exact) project of Alan’s entitled “The Living Installation,” a series of small performance-based art happenings, such as his recent glow-in-the-dark paint party. An array of his works on paper will also be on view, including new large-format abstract works and 96 baseball cards the artist created from childhood until the present day. Sometimes art, like life, works best with a little added affection. Just remember to ask for consent! Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Patriarchal Trash, Woodland Puppetry, Black Remembrance

WEDNESDAY

(flyer via Fire Signs Present / Facebook)

Fire Signs Present: Sociable Sagittarians
Wednesday, November 29 at Artichoke Pizza, 9 pm: FREE

Artichoke Pizza is known far and wide for serving up very large, very rich, very cream-laden slices of pizza to late-night revelers and hungry lunch-searchers alike. But when they opened a Bushwick location in the old Northeast Kingdom space not too long ago, they also began hosting events and shows in their basement. One such monthly show is a woman-centric variety show helmed by Fire Signs Present, a duo (of fire signs, of course) comprised of performers Meg McDermott and Nancy Pop. Each month, they book women and femme comedians, storytellers, musicians, and anything in between, typically who belong to the astrological sign of the month, but not always. (Full disclosure: I performed at last month’s Scorpio show. Fellow Scorpio Risings…hello.) This time around, it is all about Sagittarius folk, specifically Hannah Abney, Thoughtress, Brittany Sherrod, and Aston Hollins McClanahan. Plus, there is free prosecco. Keep Reading »

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Streetball Letterman Jackets, Art & AIDS, and More Exhibitions This Week

(image via Fort Gansevoort)

I’ve Been Heard
Opening Thursday, November 30 at Fort Gansevoort, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through

“Public Parks to this day exist as one of the very few remaining spaces that are designed to be democratic: free and open to all,” proclaims a statement for artist and boxing teacher Cheryl Pope’s latest installation at Fort Gansevoort. While the intent for a location isn’t always put into practice by all, it does remain true that public parks provide, or attempt to provide, such a freedom. Pope’s installation focuses on NYC youth, who often flock to parks and the street basketball courts that accompany them. After speaking with an array of young people, she created banner flags and “All-American Varsity Letterman Jackets” displaying some of their statements, elevating the words of youths who may be often ignored into literal fine art. Keep Reading »

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Get Your Relationship Turned Into a Musical, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(image courtesy of Rebecca & Evan)

Your Love, Our Musical
Wednesday, November 22 at Caveat, 7:30 pm: $15

If you’ve ever dreamed of turning your latest Tinder date into an original musical, I don’t know what kind of a person that makes you, but you can take a stab at making this odd dream a reality at the return of Rebecca Vigil and Evan Kaufman’s Your Love, Our Musical, now presented at new brainy venue Caveat. It’s fairly self-explanatory; the duo selects an actual couple from the audience and interviews them. After that, they work their magic and craft a whole (and wholly improvised) musical about what they’ve just heard. If you’re looking for a new perspective on your relationship but can’t afford therapy, this could be the way to do it. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Conspiracy Puppets, Thomas Paine, Synth Improv

THURSDAY

(image via Paul Pinto / Facebook)

Thomas Paine In Violence
Now through November 18 at HERE Arts Center, 8:30 pm: $25

While Paul Pinto may be known by some for his work as a performer in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, he is also a highly interesting composer in his own right. In collaboration with director Rick Burkhardt, he has whipped up an electro-acoustic opera centering around founding father Thomas Paine and a surreal, dreamlike radio station from another planet. Paine, played by vocalist Joan La Barbara, is attempting to deliver various messages on economic justice while a raucous chorus of sound unfolds around him. The show in particular concerns Paine’s 1797 pamphlet Agrarian Justice, considered a precursor of basic income theory and planted seeds for ideas such as Social Security and taxing those who owned land in order to provide for those who did not.

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Art This Week: Sculptural Decay, Immigrant Portraits, Post-Apocalyptic Paintings

(image courtesy of Derek Eller Gallery)

Dawn of the Looney Tune
Opening Thursday, November 16 at Derek Eller Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 23.

Not all sculptures involve components like carrots and bread, but Michelle Segre’s sculptures certainly do. You can see them this Thursday at LES space Derek Eller Gallery, when her latest exhibition opens. As these works often involve organic matter such as the aforementioned carrots and bread, and gallery shows are often on view for quite some time, it is almost guaranteed that Segre’s work will subtly change as time goes by. More specifically, that organic matter is probably going to get mushy. Or grow fur. Or change colors. Either way, it will shift. And you will get a healthy reminder that like it or not, we are all slowly but surely decaying. Happy Monday! Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Comedic Compliments, Native Satire, All the Feels

WEDNESDAY

(image via The Center for the Humanities)

This Isn’t Funny!: I, An Moron
Wednesday, November 8 at CUNY Graduate Center’s James Gallery, 7 pm: FREE

Comedy is a strange thing. Many write it off as merely jokes with little meaning, but comedy is one of our biggest and most pervasive cultural forces. So, be careful what you joke about, because hey, jokes do matter and it’s extremely easy to be very funny without tearing down marginalized groups. I see it happen literally all the time. Anyway, tonight you can see performance artist Dynasty Handbag perform their new work that riffs on “white activism” (#resist by buying this shirt about feminism!) and solo shows made by privileged heterosexual women with little self-awareness, which I also see happen all the time. After the performance concludes, the artist will be joined by Morgan Bassichis, Dominique Nisperos, Keisha Zollar, and moderator Bess Rowen for a discussion about the role of comedy in times of political unrest, and how one can utilize the genre to productively take on the establishment.

THURSDAY

(flyer via Union Hall)

Boast Rattle
Thursday, November 9 at Union Hall, 10 pm: $10 advance, $12 day of

Ah, roasts. No, I don’t mean cookouts or that ceremony where you put the whole pig in the ground and take it out after a while. I am talking about the weird comedic ritual of hurling insults in a way some take as complimentary, ultimately. In my opinion, it is too easy to resort to cheap shots in a roast. Unless maybe you are roasting a white man who does not have many redeeming qualities. In any case, at this show you needn’t worry about expecting to laugh at any cruel or dumb retorts. In fact, Boast Rattle is a night of fierce compliments. So, you can sit back and watch Jo Firestone, Josh Gondelman, Mike Drucker, Adam Conover, Shalewa Sharpe, and even Bizzy The Dog cook up their best words of praise to each other. Plus, this edition of the show is part of the New York Comedy Festival, so maybe you will feel fancier in the audience.

FRIDAY

(flyer via Ars Nova / Facebook)

Every Feeling I’ve Ever Felt
Friday, November 10 at Ars Nova, 8 pm: $15

When it comes to feelings, composer and musician Ellen Winter has many of them. So many, in fact, that she’s written an entire show to expose them all to you. Her one-night-only show at Ars Nova (where she also interned several years back) not only has a hefty dose of emotions all along the spectrum (and probably more than one or two tears), it also serves as a showcase of songs she’s written over the years, from renditions of punk songs past to new material from her upcoming solo album. With some rare actual good news coming from the most recent local elections and the inevitable advent of chillier weather and seasonal depression, I have also been feeling many types of feelings. It can always be a treat to experience them with a roomful of others, set to a handful of songs.

SATURDAY

(photo: Theo Cote)

Don’t Feed The Indians: A Divine Comedy Pageant
Now through November 19 at La MaMa, 7 pm (Sundays at 2 pm): $25, $20 students/seniors

One (and certainly not the only) group who has faced hundreds of years of oppression that still continues today is Native Americans. Though their land and livelihood is still largely disregarded today, illuminated by movements like that of Standing Rock and more, the struggles they face are not always splashed on the (virtual) front pages of the news. And when Native or Indigenous people are portrayed in fictional media, it’s equally uncommon that they themselves are the ones telling the stories or even playing the roles. That all gets turned on its head at Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective’s “greatest sideshow of Indigenous people you’ll ever see.”

Created by Murielle Borst-Tarrant of Spiderwoman Theater with music direction by Kevin Tarrant, Don’t Feed The Indians takes common Native stereotypes and subverts them in a satirical, musical night performed by actual Native artists. May the future only bring more and more work like this.

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New Exhibitions: One Artist In Two Galleries, Beautiful Soup, Native Transformers

(image via Disclaimer Gallery / Facebook)

First, Play / Second Date
Opening Wednesday, November 8 and Thursday, November 9 at Disclaimer Gallery and Field Projects, 6 pm to 9 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm.

It’s common to see many artists showing work in one gallery show, but less so to see a singular artist (who isn’t a long-deceased master or buzzy household name) exhibiting at multiple galleries in the same city at the same time. Though this may be rare, queer artist Loren Britton is far from ordinary. Both exhibitions explore the confines and freedoms of bodies and language, specifically in regards to the queer and gender non-conforming experience.

At Chelsea’s Field Projects, their charming but rough paper pulp wall reliefs reside. Over at Bushwick’s Disclaimer Gallery, a sandbox installation rife with pastel, pulp, and radical politics makes its home. At the former, it’s recommended attendees “stay clean”; at the latter, “getting dirty is encouraged.” Rounding out the artist’s presence is a coloring book collaboration with artist/designer Laura Coombs; people are encouraged to fill in the book on their time between exhibitions. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Immersive Witchcraft, FMK, Branded Comedy

THURSDAY

(flyer via Branded Content: A Corporate Variety Hour / Facebook)

Branded Content Presents: Whole Foods
Thursday, November 2 at Pine Box Rock Shop, 8 pm: FREE

Ah, it appears the brands are at it again, my friends. The brands are always at it again. In this case, the brands are going seasonal, as the weather is finally getting colder some of the days but other days it feels like summer still and the earth will surely burn to a crisp sooner than we know it. Anyway, while we still have time on this strange planet we call home, you might as well spend a Thursday night watching some free comedy at a show that is all about the perils and peculiarities of brands and their content. The evening is hosted by Simone Norman and Jackson Fisher, and features Jay Jurden, Jeremyah Schur, Mary Houlihan, Kate Dellis, Gianmarco Soresi, and Chanel Ali, with a little help from the biggest jokester of all, Whole Foods. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Continued Haunts, Queer Ceramics, and Planning Ahead For Death

(image via Leslie-Lohman Museum / Facebook)

Objectified
Opening Friday, November 3 at Leslie+Lohman Prince Street Project, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through November 5.

This swift three-day exhibition shows the work of queer ceramic artist Caitlin Rose Sweet. I first encountered Sweet’s work when I interviewed her about a show she was doing inspired by Bosch’s notorious triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. Since then, she hasn’t stopped whipping up sculptural pieces that impressively mix elements of grotesque and feminine. Friday, her solo show Objectified is unveiled to the public, placing the queer femme body in all its manifestations on view. Sweet’s ceramic sculpture creations can resemble traditional craft art, domestic home goods, genitalia, gnarled fingers, and fantastical beasts all at once. Will you be entranced or spooked? Keep Reading »