About Cassidy Dawn Graves

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

Posts by Cassidy Dawn Graves:

No Comments

Edgar Oliver Recounts Love and Loss, Beggars and Bakeries in Attorney Street

(photo: Maria Baranova)

(photo: Maria Baranova)

Edgar Oliver is a memorable man. I feel as though I could listen to him recite a portion of the phone book and throughout it I would find humor, joy, and sorrow. That’s not to say he has a terribly wide range of vocal inflection, but rather quite the opposite. Somehow he treats every word nearly the same way, with the same great deal of care and dramatics, and yet an entire world opens itself up among the syllables.

In Attorney Street, Oliver’s third solo storytelling show, he explores a new chapter of his life in a new apartment on the Lower East Side after being made to leave the small East Village SRO he’d remained for decades. With this major change, he also tracks other shifts in his life and surroundings: a vacant lot he cherished is now no more, a young boy that awakened desire in him as a child now has a child of his own, and so on.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Performances To Soothe The Pain: Laughs, Hopeful Open Mics, and Party People

THURSDAY

(image via Reductress / Facebook)

(image via Reductress / Facebook)

Haha, Wow! By Reductress: Hillary Clinton Won!
Thursday, November 10 at UCB Chelsea, 8 pm: $5.

Everyone’s favorite (and maybe the only) satirical women’s magazine Reductress, fresh off the release of How To Win At Feminism (check our interview here), gears up for another edition of its monthly live show. Hosted by Reductress associate editor Nicole Silverberg, the show offers chuckles, lady power, and “tips on how to sex good,” duh. But this one’s a little different. The theme is “Hillary Clinton Won.” I’m not sure if this title was decided upon before Tuesday, but either way it’s gonna be a little painful to emerge back into the world once the show concludes. But for one hour of blissful pretending, you can “live your life like Hillary Clinton won with some of our favorite comedians.” Take it while you can. The show features Sydnee Washington, Alyssa Limperis, Shalewa Sharpe, and JANDA. Keep Reading »

No Comments

‘Not My President!’ Thousands March To Trump Tower in Post-Election Anger

(photos: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

Last night starting at 6 pm, thousands gathered in Union Square Park and marched over 40 blocks through the traffic-filled streets to Trump Tower and then to Columbus Circle to express their displeasure with Donald Trump being pronounced America’s next president.

One of the main organizers of the event was Socialist Alternative, a national activist organization wishing to rally against bipartisanism and global capitalism to “build an independent, alternative party of workers and young people.”

Keep Reading »

No Comments

You Look Like You Need This: Free Drinks, PR, and More ‘in the Wake of This Horrible Election’

National Sawdust (photo: Nicole Disser)

Last night I was at Gowanus venue Littlefield for Election Night Live, a performance event put on by political musical comedy group Political Subversities. The packed house was high-energy and receptive as they watched sharply-crafted musical numbers and sketches about voting, Michelle Obama, phone banking, lesbian feminists, and loving Hillary Clinton “more than I love my labia.” Interspersed throughout were stand-up sets by folks like Reductress associate editor Nicole Silverberg and comedian Aparna Nancherla, mind-reading magic by Vinny DePonto, and others. Pantsuits and political attire were plentiful, and spirits seemed high, if not a bit frantic and anxious.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Reductress Has Literally Written the Book on Feminism, But They’d Still Like To ‘Do More’

REDUCTRESScover_HowToWinAtFeminism

(image courtesy of HarperOne)

For being a somewhat niche concept of a satirical women’s magazine, Reductress really runs the gamut when it comes to content. There’s been their acclaimed and biting homepage dedicated to sexual assault (headlines include: Man Who Sexually Assaulted You Likes Your Facebook Post About Sexual Assault and ‘Most Woman Lie About Rape,’ Says Man Lying About Rape), sadly relatable posts like Woman Thanks Boyfriend For Putting Up With Her Totally Reasonable Behavior, heavy hitters such as Six Thanksgiving Pies that Won’t Fix What Happened In Ferguson, and more absurd moments, like 10 Beautiful Red Carpets You Can’t See Because Blake Lively Is In The Way.

But for their new book How To Win At Feminism: The Definitive Guide To Having It All— And Then Some!, they’ve focused on the topic that seems to be in everyone’s mouths lately: feminism, and how to get it “right.” Throughout six sections and 200 pages, punctuated by Plinky the Fairy Witch (a vibrator-wielding second-wave feminist who speaks in whimsical rhyme and turns out to be “an actual Feminazi”), Oprah, Lena Dunham, Beyoncé, and “Ruth Bader Ginsburg After She’s Had Her Wine,” among others, How To Win At Feminism is an exhaustive and silly exploration into the follies of feminism and the many, many ways to joke about it. And after last night’s news, jokes can help to ease the pain. God only knows how long we’ll have to poke fun at the state of women in this country before the absurd becomes reality. Keep Reading »

No Comments

A Bed-Stuy Biennial, Nina Simone Self-Defense, and Other Art Events This Week

Nkiruka J. Oparah, study n° 080415, 2015, digital collage (image via BRIC)

Nkiruka J. Oparah, study n° 080415, 2015, digital collage (image via BRIC)

BRIC Biennial: Volume II, Bed Stuy / Crown Heights
Opening Wednesday, November 9 at BRIC, 7 pm to 9 pm. On view through January 15. 

BRIC’s largest exhibition to date is centered at Downtown Brooklyn’s BRIC House but also taking place in portions of Crown Heights’s FiveMyles, the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Weeksville Heritage Center. The show’s sprawling spread reflects the artists represented in the show, as all 40 are local to Crown Heights and Bed Stuy. The theme for the exhibit is “Affective Bodies,” placing a focus on “bodily experience rather than on learned knowledge,” a somewhat subversive move in the world of art exhibits, as so many are grounded in theory, explained using highly academic terms, and/or featuring high-class educated folks. Each non-BRIC venue will showcase a different sort of work: Weeksville Heritage artists are focused on the “emotional resonance” people give urban spaces, the Brooklyn Public Library artists use preexisting documents as their source material to create new works, and FiveMyles will focus on performance art. Keep Reading »

No Comments

6 Burlesque Performers Share Their Lofty Ideas About Taking It Off in NYC

Dirty Martini (photo: Steven Menendez)

Dirty Martini (photo: Steven Menendez)

Burlesque has a storied history in New York City. It first appeared in the 1800s, mixed in with other vaudevillian entertainment, and it rose in popularity (and decreased in clothing) until Mayor La Guardia and moral outcry got to it in the 1940s. That’s when many Times Square burlesque theaters closed and attendees of Depression-era shows were reduced to “sex crazed perverts.” Later, many of these very buildings became home to peep shows and sex clubs in the seedier days of Times Square, which in turn suffered a similar fate during the Giuliani-led Disneyfication of the neighborhood in the ’90s. As this was happening, groups of artists in underground venues were bringing creative and often strange stripping back to the city, giving birth to what is now hailed as the neo-burlesque movement.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Performance Picks: Colorful Comedy, Wilderness Therapy, Taboo Poets

THURSDAY

(flyer by Chandler Moses, via Facebook)

(flyer by Chandler Moses, via Facebook)

Comedy Cunt
Thursday, November 3 at Bluestockings Bookstore, 7 pm: FREE. 

Now that this show’s title has your attention, let us give you some details. Unless you don’t want them, and wish to blindly saunter into a show called “Comedy Cunt.” That’s admirable. For the rest of you, this is a recurring show, hosted by Arti Gollapudi, where marginalized individuals harness the medium of comedy to delve into their own life experiences. This time around, they’ve got Joe Castle Baker (who recently delivered perhaps the most memorable and manic riff on infomercials I’ve seen, which is impressive, as I love work about infomercials), Ayanna Dookie, Chandler Moses, Katie Fay Behrmann, Amy Zimmer, and Mamoudou N’Diaye, who used to teach science to youngsters. Plus, a “video performance” by Amanda Justice. Might I say, justice is served? Keep Reading »

1 Comment

Pipilotti Rist Creates Kaleidoscopic Comfort With Her Pixel Forest, at the New Museum

Pipilotti Rist, Gnade Donau Gnade (Mercy Danube Mercy), 2013/15. Installation view: “Komm Schatz, wir stellen die Medien um & fangen nochmals von vorne an,” Kunsthalle Krems, Austria, 2015. Courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth, and Luhring Augustine. Photo: Lisa Rastl

Pipilotti Rist, Gnade Donau Gnade (Mercy Danube Mercy), 2013/15.
Installation view: “Komm Schatz, wir stellen die Medien um & fangen
nochmals von vorne an,” Kunsthalle Krems, Austria, 2015. Courtesy the
artist, Hauser & Wirth, and Luhring Augustine. Photo: Lisa Rastl

As artist Pipilotti Rist spoke to a group of journalists last week, soap bubbles floated out of a silver machine and promptly disappeared in a puff of smoke, as part of a 1999 sculptural piece playfully entitled “Nothing.”

“Thank you for your work, being a bridge to the possible audience, being a translator,” she told us. With that bit of kindness, plus a brief statement in support of letting refugees in, we were ushered into Pixel Forest, the three-floor survey of Rist’s video and sculptural work that is equal parts manically psychedelic, serenely meditative, and highly accessible. Keep Reading »

No Comments

Gallery Sleepover, Magical Laughter Workshop, and Other Art Occasions

Untitled, 1971 Ink on paper 27.6 x 35.2 cm / 10 7/8 x 13 7/8 in © The Estate of Philip Guston Courtesy Hauser & Wirth

Untitled, 1971
Ink on paper
27.6 x 35.2 cm / 10 7/8 x 13 7/8 in
© The Estate of Philip Guston
Courtesy Hauser & Wirth

Laughter in the Dark, Drawings from 1971 & 1975
Opening Tuesday, November 1 at Hauser & Wirth 22nd Street, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through January 14. 

While our heads are all aflurry with the politics of today, it could be good to take a break, clear your head before you place pen to paper and fill out that absentee ballot, trying not to smudge the ink with your tears of frustration and hopelessness. Though this election season seems truly eternal, there were other presidents, and there was art made about them, too. Hauser & Wirth’s 22nd Street location will be showing a tremendous collection of Philip Guston’s satirical caricature drawings of Richard Nixon, from his well-known “Poor Richard” series to collections of sketches rarely seen by the public, if at all.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Performance: Spooky Puppets and People, Creepy Creature Creation, and More

(photo via Nightcap by Ike / Facebook)

(photo via Nightcap by Ike / Facebook)

THURSDAY

Nightcap By Ike
Thursday, October 27 at Joe’s Pub, 9 pm: $12. 

Comedian, solo performer, and all-around entertainer Ikechukwu Ufomadu, oft-described as the theoretical offspring of Woody Allen and Frank Sinatra if such a thing was logically feasible, once again takes to the stage to bring you a “singular mélange” of jokes, special guests, and music. His performances are frequently in the style of a live talk show, infusing an oddly deadpan and NPR-esque affect at times to the typically over-the-top enthusiasm of talk show hosts. Ufomadu also uniquely lives in many aspects of the performance world, with one foot in the comedy world, another in the experimental theater scene, perhaps a hand in performance art and cabaret. Come Thursday, you’ll see it all. But in a digestible, nightcap form.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Art: Vintage Voting, Wes Anderson, Liquor In Everything

R. Luke DuBois Learning Machine #2, 2016 AVM voting machine (instruction model, blue, ca. 1955), voting booth, computer, camera, lights, screen

R. Luke DuBois
Learning Machine #2, 2016
AVM voting machine (instruction model, blue, ca. 1955), voting booth, computer, camera, lights, screen

The Choice Is Yours
Opening Wednesday October 26 at bitforms gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 23. 

It seems to be a near-impossible task to find any sort of political media that does not deal heavily with those two folks with names beginning with D and H. If you’re interested in engaging with the current events but not with the media circus, consider checking out R. Luke DuBois’s solo show, part of LES gallery bitforms’s 15th anniversary season. The exhibition is a questioning of “individual agency,” from basic tasks to those with (supposedly) more weight, like voting.

Keep Reading »