About Cassidy Dawn Graves

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

Posts by Cassidy Dawn Graves:

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You Can Help Crown The Best Of Brooklyn Nightlife

(flyer via Brooklyn Nightlife Awards / Facebook)

Awards shows may be a great way to spend an evening, but at the end of the day you’re usually watching a bunch of fancy rich people give shiny trophies to a bunch of other fancy rich people while even more fancy rich people watch. Plus, the elite group who voted for the nominees? They’re more than likely to also be fancy rich people. But then, there’s the Brooklyn Nightlife Awards, where the performers getting trophies (well, more like bricks with plaques on them) may look fancy, but it’s probable they creatively cobble together most of their eye-catching outfits and props using stuff from thrift shops and the dollar store, just like the rest of us. Keep Reading »

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HIV Criminalization, Thermal Surveillance, and More Art This Week

Barton Lidicé Beneš, “Lethal Weapons: Silencer,” 1994. Mixed-media assemblage with artist’s HIV-positive blood, 16 1/8 x 15 1/8 x 3 1/2 in. Collection of Joshua Rechnitz. Courtesy of the estate of Barton Lidicé Beneš and Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York (image via Visual AIDS / Facebook)

Cell Count
Opening Thursday, May 31 at La MaMa Galleria, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 16.

Presented by Visual AIDS and curated by Kyle Croft and Asher Mones, this exhibition zeroes in on the insidious intersection of HIV and incarceration, both today and throughout history. Currently, more than half the states in America have laws in effect that criminalizes the act of potentially exposing someone to HIV without first disclosing their status, often regardless of other factors like viral load or actual transmission risk, leading many to deem them dangerous. The 15+ artists of Cell Count use their work to interrogate these laws and how they affect people with HIV, placing them into conversation with a larger history of “medically sanctioned violence and incarceration.” Keep Reading »

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MTA History, Cooking With Comedy, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(image via Caveat / Facebook)

Why Your Train Is F*cked
Wednesday, May 23 at Caveat, 6:30 pm: $15 advance, $18 doors

The MTA is generally bad, so much so that some guys tried to give it an award for being the worst at one of the L train shutdown town halls last week. Speaking of which, the L train shutdown? Seems bleak! Good thing I don’t have a regular commute, because I am too scared to bike anywhere. If you’ve been particularly frustrated about the MTA lately, come be among folks who feel similarly at a comedy show all about the history of this transit system, starting with the origins of the MTA in the 1830s. Let’s just hope your train doesn’t get too delayed on the way there. Who am I kidding? It probably will be.  Keep Reading »

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Feminine Anger, A ‘Futile Orgasm,’ and More Art This Week

(image via Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects / Facebook)

Crimes of the Gods
Opening Wednesday, May 23 at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 29.

The mythology of Greek gods have been around for ages, and usually comprise a large chunk of one’s education, whether that be in grade school or college theater classes. But something that is often glazed over or diminished in seriousness is the deep-seated misogyny inherent in many of these powerful characters, and how their actions may have laid a foundation for how our world operates today. Artist Susanna Coffey published an art book in 1988 centered around these tales of gods (men) taking what they want (women, usually), and woodcuts made from these images will be on view alongside self-portraits imbued with the same passionate feminine anger. “Now I see that the tale told in The Homeric Hymn is more of an ongoing truth than a myth,” Coffey writes in an essay included with the exhibition, and it’s worth wondering if the opposite will ever be true. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Wrestling With Friendship, Oddly Satisfying Content, and More

THURSDAY

(image via Bushwick Starr)

Singlet
May 16-June 3 at The Bushwick Starr, 8 pm: $20-25

Singlet, the new show from the singular (get it, singular sounds like “singlet”) mind of performance and cabaret artist Erin Markey is about wrestling, yes, but it is also about so much more. That’s not a metaphor or anything; this show about friendship and rivalry takes its inspiration from everyone’s favorite performative form of consensual violence involving spandex and rings, but also Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, Precious Moments collectible dolls, Jean Genet’s The Maids (aka one of the plays everyone directed scenes from in theater school to be edgy), couples counseling podcasts, and a myriad more references I may never fully comprehend, tbh. Markey will be performing alongside frequent collaborator Emily Davis, and I wouldn’t be surprised if tickets sell out soon, so as the teens say, hop to it.

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Art This Week: Life-Size Rhinos, Lower East Side Grit, and More

(image via Gagosian / Facebook)

Things
Opening Tuesday, May 15 at Gagosian, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 23.

When you look into the body of work that Swiss artist Urs Fischer is created, you’ll quickly see a common theme is how the human form can be manipulated and distorted, whether that’s crafting grotesque collages of faces that once looked typical or sculpting a huge bust of Katy Perry and inviting onlookers to alter it with clay. He’s also interested in how everyday objects (a block of cheese, a gallery floor) can be broken open or picked apart until something new and surprising is created. Average objects will once again be on display in his latest show at Midtown’s Gagosian, aptly titled Things. The central “thing” of the show is a life-size rhinoceros sculpture with household items like vacuum cleaners and copiers clinging to it as if it was some sort of huge magnet for domestic chores or office tasks. And isn’t everyone, unfortunately, at some point in their lives? Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Queer Anniversary, Modern Dance, This Alien Nation

WEDNESDAY

(art by Payton Turner, image via This Alien Nation / Facebook)

This Alien Nation
Wednesday, May 9 at Joe’s Pub, 7 pm: $20 advance, $25 doors

It would take a lot of willful ignorance not to see that living as an immigrant in Trump’s America (or even in Obama’s) can be an experience fraught with anxiety, fear, and a sense of disappointment in a large portion of humanity. But for all the cruel, discriminatory people out there, there are others who make a point of giving immigrants a platform to tell their own stories and maybe even get paid for it. Sofija Stefanovic’s This Alien Nation is one such show, providing a monthly space for some of their “favorite outsiders” to show an audience whatever it is they do best. This month, guest hosted by Abeer Hoque, features storyteller Mansoor Basha, poet and drag performer Wo Chan, comedian Ana Fabrega, journalist and author Aatish Taseer, performer and filmmaker Angel Yau, and musician Amalia Watty. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Salsa Soul Sisters, Persian Neil Diamond and More

(image via Lesbian Herstory Archives / Facebook)

Salsa Soul Sisters: Honoring Lesbians of Color
Opening Wednesday, May 9 at EFA Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, 6 pm. On view through June 29.

There are only a paltry handful of lesbian-specific spaces left in the city, but many initiatives exist to inform of the bars, venues, and collectives that make up lesbian and queer history in the city and beyond. The Lesbian Herstory Archives in collaboration with EFA will be presenting an archival exhibition that shines a light on the Salsa Soul Sisters, a collective of lesbian and bisexual Black, Latina, Indigenous, and Asian-American women founded in NYC in 1976. If you can’t make the opening reception on Wednesday, there will be a panel discussion and open mic on June 1 and a closing reception on June 29. Keep Reading »

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Feminist HPV, Charles Atlas, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(image via Andrew Hardigg / Facebook)

Gorilla Manners / Atlas / Coffee Cup Conundrum
Wednesday, May 2 at Dixon Place, 7:30 pm: $15 advance, $18 doors

Tonight, you can get not one, not two, but three shows in the same night. The first is Gorilla Manners, a play by Andrew Hardigg directed by Jordan J. Baum, which includes a character called Vaseline and a gorilla who does not like being stared at for too long (hence the “manners” portion of the title, I suppose). The second is Atlas, a show by The Red Lines that explores how communication can be distorted by the artifice that we create. The third, Coffee Cup Conundrum, not only works well as a tongue twister or vocal warm-up, but will likely also remind us about the massive amount of plastic we throw away and how we’re only going to be able to ignore it for so much longer. So, there’s something for everyone! Keep Reading »

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Feminine Power, Queer Nightlife, and More Art This Week

“Summer Sisters” 2018 by Rebecca Leveille (image via The Untitled Space)

The End of Love
Opening Tuesday, May 1 at The Untitled Space, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through May 13.

For an exhibition sporting as foreboding a title as The End of Love, Rebecca Leveille’s paintings are so entrancing as to inspire a sort of optimism in the viewer. In addition to being strikingly beautiful, her paintings portray feminine beauty, bliss, and sexuality in a way that’s playful and mixes elements of realism and mythology, allowing for a mental break from the seemingly constant barrage of nonsense coming from the world. Leveille is no stranger to the realm of the fantastical, as she has previously created illustrations for Magic: The Gathering under the name Rebecca Guay. Looking to how the artist herself has spoken of this show, the connection between the title and the content begins to feel more clear. “What comes after delusions of ‘love?,’” she writes. “Feminine power and sexuality find new ground, as does an urgency to assert the female gaze.” Keep Reading »

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#StopSESTA, Lobotomies, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(poster by Mikey Heller)

Tim Platt: Live in COWncert
Thursday, April 26 at The Brick, 9:30 pm: $10

Many of us grew up watching Sesame Street. Comedian Tim Platt has recently written a song for this beloved children’s show, but that isn’t the only song he’s penned. In fact, you can see Platt’s entire repertoire of comedy music on Thursday night at The Brick when he plays a concert as part of the Brooklyn Comedy Collective’s residence at the Williamsburg theater. Sure, comedy music can be grating or cringe-inducing, but Tim’s music is neither of those things. Well, unless it’s trying to be. So, come one come all, and open your ears for songs about vegetables (as someone who once wrote an entire play about broccoli, this excites me) and all other sorts of topics, with accompanist Ben Kling and opening act Eudora Peterson. Maybe, just maybe, there will also be a cow. Keep Reading »

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The Last Art Show at Silent Barn Is an Education in Skincare

(image courtesy of Disclaimer Gallery)

If you’re even slightly interested in skincare, it would be hard to ignore the current popularity of K-beauty, or Korean cosmetics and skincare products such as sheet masks, serums, and snail-slime face creams. Many of these products contain lactic acid, an organic compound that’s also used in fermentation and produced by the body. For her solo show at Silent Barn’s Disclaimer Gallery, artist Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin has delved into this multi-use microbe both figuratively and literally, investigating its presence in beauty, bodies, and Korean identity by making her own lactic acid skincare products. Keep Reading »