About Cassidy Dawn Graves

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

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Performance Picks: MTA Love Poems, Jeb Bush Meets Sam Shepard, and More

WEDNESDAY

(flyer by Alex Farr)

Holding: A Queer Black Love Story
Wednesday, July 12 at Secret Project Robot, 9 pm: FREE (donation suggested)

This performance is presented as part of queer, trans, POC-centric collective BUFU’s month of community programming, available in full on their website. Created and performed by Alex Farr and Kimiko Matsuda-Lawrence, Holding explores the ways one can tell a queer black love story in 2017, particularly in these more precarious political times. Prioritizing the powerful nature of being soft and kind to others, the show states, “We name our tenderness as an act of resistance—intimate resistance that should be celebrated, protected, and cared for.”

After the performance, the artists will stick around for a talkback discussion, unlike a certain David Mamet who recently said he would fine artistic groups $25,000 if they dared to publicly discuss his work after a production of it.  Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Printmaking in Protest, Robots Will Kill, Mexico + Staten Island

(image via Center for Book Arts)

Center for Book Arts Summer Exhibitions
Opening Wednesday, July 12 at Center for Book Arts, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through September 23.

This Wednesday, The Center for Book Arts will unveil their two summer exhibitions, titled “Protest Profest: Global Burdens” and “Animation + Printing.”  Though the institutions focuses on books (obviously), the exhibitions themselves span a variety of disciplines. “Protest ≠ Profest” is their annual Artist Members Exhibition, with the timely concept of showing work dealing with activism and “current societal concerns.” In order to narrow down the type of theme that could easily fill multiple rooms worth of art (and to keep with the book focus), works on display will either be artist’s books or works relating to the book arts.

“Animation + Printing” is predominantly a short film showcase, but all films have been created using techniques typically applied to the creation of books, such as  etching, moveable type, and silkscreen. A whopping 50-ish artists will be partaking, and the exhibition theme invites a cross-discipline experience for many, as several printmakers will be attempting animation and vice versa. Keep Reading »

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A ‘Fair’ Roger Ailes Memorial, The Secret Life of Plants, and More Art This Week

Rochelle Feinstein, The Week in Hate, 2017, oil on canvas, 40 by 38 inches (via yours mine & ours)

The Roger Ailes Memorial Show: Fair and Balanced
Opening Thursday, July 6 at yours mine & ours, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through August 4.

When news surfaced that Roger Ailes of Fox News had departed this earthly plane, certain left-leaning pockets of the internet reacted similarly to the announcement that longtime Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia had kicked the bucket. That is, they were not mourning in the typical sense, unless your regular mourning routine includes Twitter jokes and dances of joy. Now, a little over a month since he passed, LES gallery yours mine & ours will be gathering an array of artists to memorialize the man. And remember, being memorialized may have a positive connotation, but it merely means that people are publicly remembering what you did.

A press release for the show has opted not to include a traditional exhibition description, instead reprinting in full an essay by Monica Lewinsky that ran in The New York Times on May 22, 2017. Entitled “Roger Ailes’s Dream Was My Nightmare,” Lewinsky articulates for many paragraphs how Ailes and Fox was one of the first to incessantly cover her sexual involvement with Bill Clinton in a way that she writes made her “[cease] being a three-dimensional person.” The fact that this exhibition elected to uplift a woman’s story instead of trumpet about its own prestige should give you a clue of what’s in store. Keep Reading »

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Surrealist Warehouse Festival, Fantastic Comedy, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(flyer via Brian Fiddyment / Twitter)

Prayerz
Wednesday, June 28 at Vital Joint, 9 pm: $5-10 sliding scale

Regular old prayers are boring. Clasping your hands together and murmuring at the sky all polite-like? Come on. And don’t get me started on the kinds of prayers that just happen as a silent “conversation with God” in your head (i.e. the kinds I did as a child, I was no heathen). Let’s get some performative prayer up in here! And that’s just what comedian Brian Fiddyment will bring you in his monthly show at East Williamsburg space Vital Joint. Well, maybe. It’s a show and open mic focusing on multimedia-based and non-traditional comedy pieces are given priority. Perhaps that was the true Word of the Lord all along.

And if you want to double up on the #showz, get there early, because at 8 pm three groups of artists are performing new experimental works as part of ?!: New Works, deemed “the spiritual successor to the Exponential Festival.” Keep Reading »

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Experimental Comics, A Munchkin Saga, and More Art This Week

(image via Artists Alliance Inc)

Sweety’s Radio: Edición Especial
Opening Tuesday, June 27 at Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space. On view through July 30.

Sweety’s, a curatorial initiative “dedicated to the labor of black and brown artists,” will be taking over the Lower East Side’s Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space until the end of July, using their time to stage live talk show interviews with artists and “Spanish-speaking cultural producers.” They’ve partnered with four unique artists, who will be interviewed by Sweety’s and given space for a week to show their work. Once those weeks have concluded, the four members of Sweety’s will be creating a collaborative installation.

The residency begins with Cecilia Gentili, a performer, storyteller, and advocate for trans women of color, and continues with illustrator Raul Gonzalez III, poet and AIDS activist Emanuel Xavier, and visual artist Elia Alba. As the Manhattan art world continues to largely fulfill its reputation of being upper-class, cis, and white, ventures like Sweety’s are a breath of fresh air.

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Pride-ful Shows, Political Theater, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(image via Clubbed Thumb)

What The Constitution Means To Me
June 21-July 1 at The Wild Project, 8 pm: $25

With this piece by playwright and actor Heidi Schreck directed by Oliver Butler, Clubbed Thumb continues their annual Summerworks series of new plays. Fittingly, so far they have all dealt with sociopolitical or governmental issues in ways that have been a bit more overt than the typical downtown theater offering. Such is a sign of the times. Schreck’s What The Constitution Means To Me appears to be no exception.

The play is about someone also named Heidi who finds a unique way to make money in 1989, which is giving speeches about the Constitution. Only, she is told her orations are not personal enough, which leads to an exploration into the women of her past (who seem to have consistently attracted “violent men”) and how the Ninth Amendment may have had more of an impact than she thought on them. Keep Reading »

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Funky Ceramics, Mermaids at Sunny’s, and More Art Openings

Jess Sheridan. Trump This, 2017. Screenprint. 22 x 15 in. Printed and published by the artist. Edition: 45. (c) 2017 Jess Sheridan.

Just Under 100
Opening Thursday, June 22 at International Print Center, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through September 16. 

This show marks the 56th edition of the International Print Center’s New Prints Program, the result of an open call for fine art prints created in the last 12 months. Curator Katherine Bradford has selected 98 of them from artists all over the world, and they will all be on view in the self-proclaimed “small” gallery space of the IPC on West 26th Street.

While there isn’t necessarily a unifying theme for all the prints, several seem to have a political bent. On the gallery’s website, I observed at least one pussy hat reference and one print involving a woman in an American flag hijab and ripped jeans skateboarding on top of the head of a man with very orange skin. Which isn’t surprising, as nowadays it almost seems like more effort to avoid referencing the current political climate than not. Keep Reading »

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Nightlife Advocates and Politicians Want to Dance on the Grave of NYC’s Cabaret Law

(photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

Yesterday, hundreds flocked to City Hall to discuss the future of nightlife in New York City at a consumer affairs oversight hearing. It was the first of its kind in over a decade to address the city’s oft-decried cabaret law, which has been in effect since 1926.

“The City licenses bars, clubs, taverns, and discos that allow dancing,” states the City of New York’s official website. “A place that is open to the public and sells food or drinks must have a Cabaret License to allow customers to dance.”

And yet, there currently are only 97 of these licenses in effect. Considering there are thousands of bar and nightclub establishments in New York City where one might feel compelled to shake their hips, there is little wonder that City Council members Rafael Espinal and Antonio Reynoso called themselves both “young Dominicans representing north Brooklyn” and “dance outlaws.” Keep Reading »

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Hookup App Etiquette, QueerCom, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(photo: Maria Baranova, via Abrons Arts Center)

Raw Bacon From Poland
Now through June 17 at Abrons Arts Center, 8 pm: $25 

I would say that most of us agree that war is bad. I would also say that most of us are able to state that opinion without having directly experienced the horrors of war ourselves. Guggenheim Fellow Christina Masciotti’s new play, currently running at Lower East Side’s Abrons Arts Center, revolves around a veteran who has been forever altered by a tour in Iraq. Through attempts to sedate his PTSD with pills, he finds himself sentenced to Brooklyn Treatment Court due to a domestic violence incident.

Theater is rarely free to attend, and often costs a pretty penny. So when the genre tells the stories of people typically cast aside by society, it can be difficult for these very people being portrayed to actually witness the work being staged. In an effort to make this play more accessible, the theater has set aside two free tickets per night specifically for veterans. Keep Reading »

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Radical Hospitality, Political Stitching, and More Art Affairs

(image via Idio Gallery / Facebook)

Radical Hospitality
Opening Thursday, June 15 at IDIO Gallery, 6pm. On view through July 15.

“Art is my life,” you’ve probably heard so many people proclaim. But rarely does it ring true in quite so literal a sense as this exhibition at Idio Gallery, in which “radical hospitality” means the East Williamsburg art space will be open from sun-up till sundown for 30 days in a row, welcome to all for any stretch of time. It’s the culmination of an ongoing exploration of the same name by the gallery’s curator Montana Simone, built partially by research and partially by actual times she experienced the hospitality of others, particularly in locations seen by Westerners as “hostile.”

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Messy Comedy, Final Macaulay, Royal Karaoke, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(image via Ground Floor Comedy)

Ground Floor Live
Wednesday, June 7 at Brooklyn Bazaar, 9 pm: FREE

Ground Floor Comedy, an online space for comedic videos and newsletter listing IRL comedy shows in Brooklyn and beyond, will be putting on their first live show tonight at Greenpoint’s Brooklyn Bazaar. There’ll be sketch, improv, and other absurdities from a silly group of comics and performers, many of which will be familiar faces if you’ve ever been to the Annoyance or new weekly series RUDE at South 4th Bar.

The whole affair is guest hosted by Mo Fry Pasic and Tim Platt, who always bring a special something to shows. If you come early at 8pm, there will be a “meat themed variety show” to spotlight new voices in the comedy scene, and I love a good themed show.

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One Structure To Sustain You, Selena Lives On, And More Art Openings

(image courtesy of Cooler Gallery)

A Structure For Hope And Survival
Opening Tuesday, June 6 at Cooler Gallery, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view through June 30.

Artist Huy Bui has a penchant for constructing environments, and his latest creation to be brought to life at Navy Yard-adjacent art space Cooler Gallery is timely in its name: A Structure For Hope and Survival. Deemed a “framework of organizing artifacts, objects, art, tools, books, games, supplies, seeds, plants and provisions,” this “modular ecological unit” serves as a structure and container for anything you might need, from plants and seating areas to how-to books and emergency snacks. An artist statement indicates that a manual is in the works for anyone who might want to build one themselves. The opening reception on Tuesday will begin with a panel discussion entitled “Art and Architecture in the Anthropocene” with Bui, fellow artists, and people who have worked on projects like Playlab and the Lowline.

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