“Compared to the free love ethos of the hippies or the body-centric hedonism of Disco, Punk was not really about sex”, write the curators of the thoughtful and often thrilling Punk Lust exhibition that opened last night at the Museum of Sex. “Rather,” they continue, “Punk worked the psychosexual dynamics of sexuality as a matter of politics and provocation. If it had had a motto it would not have been ‘let’s fuck’, but ‘fuck you’ or ‘fuck off.’”
Posts by Scott Lynch:
New Museum kicked off its big fall season last night with a huge, career-spanning exhibition of one of the UK’s most influential living artists, Sarah Lucas. The show, titled Au Natural after one of her most famous assemblages, encompasses all of the museum’s three main floors and features more than 150 sculptural pieces, photographs, installations, and videos. Provocative, clever, and engaging throughout, it’s the first retrospective of Lucas’s work seen anywhere in America, and it runs into the new year. Expect enthusiastic crowds and lots of stockings, cigarettes, and penises.
Returning once again to its visually dramatic (and conveniently central) location directly under the Brooklyn Bridge in Dumbo, the seventh annual Photoville opens today with more than 90 photography shows within and around a mini-city of shipping containers. The event runs through the weekend, then next Thursday through Sunday as well, and is totally free and open to the public.
While you were busy listening to Father John Misty or Fleet Foxes or whatever, Electric Zoo, the EDM music festival on Randall’s Island, became a goddamn New York City institution. Now in its tenth year and completely sold out all weekend long, EZoo once again saw a massive and markedly diverse crowd of shufflers, head bangers, and generally beaded-up and nearly naked folks going nuts to more than 110 acts on five stages.
Michael Jackson would have been 60 years old this Wednesday, and as has become custom in Bed-Stuy (for the past eight summers, anyway), Spike Lee threw a massive birthday block party for the beloved King of Pop. The setting was Do The Right Thing Way–Stuyvesant Avenue between Lexington and Quincy, where Lee filmed much of his seminal film, and still the only street in town named after a movie or any other work art–and on a glorious afternoon the neighborhood came out in force for the occasion.
Who doesn’t love the Film Forum? The autonomous, non-profit institution first started showing films (foreign, art house, independent, repertory) back in 1970, in a space with 50 folding chairs on the Upper West Side. It moved downtown two years later, and, after a couple of temporary homes in western Soho, settled into its current residence on Houston Street some 28 years ago. So even if you don’t make it over there as much as you’d like to anymore–those cramped seats am I right, ugh!–just the fact that it exists is enough to give you faith that NYC isn’t dead yet, right?
Well, sorry, that’s not going to cut it. Institutions, especially autonomous, non-profit ones like Film Forum, need your physical presence (and money) as well as your affection from afar. And now, thanks to a respectfully-conceived, extremely well-executed renovation of this cultural treasure–it’s been closed for construction since the spring–you can get excited again about actually going here and sitting through a two-plus-hour feature. Here are all the details on this near-miraculous, $5 million transformation:
- There’s a whole new theater, upping the Film Forum’s total screen count from three to four. And they didn’t cut into any existing theaters, or the lobby, to build it; what’s now Theater Four used to be a loading dock. The new screen will be used for movies with longer-running commitments as well as holdovers of popular titles. This fourth screen will allow the Film Forum to increase its overall number of selections each year by a third.
- The new seats–more than 500 of them, in all four theaters–are amazing! Made by Spanish design firm Figueras, they’re firm (but comfy), and much wider than their at-times-tortuous predecessors. The spacious, cushioned arm rests, too, are now places upon which you’d actually want to rest your arm. And there’s none of that fuzzy, vaguely disconcerting cloth material going on here anymore; soft, easily-cleaned vinyl is now where it’s at. Also, and crucially, the leg room in each row has been lengthened to a noticeable degree.
- Just as crucial for your viewing pleasure, each of the old theaters have been re-raked, steepening the grade of the floor to a more stadium-style seating situation. This increases the number of “good” seats in each theater by a large margin.
- There are two new additions to the lobby, most notably a 10′ x 5′ digital screen hung over the ticket-taker. This will show, among other things, silent, short, specially commissioned “lobby movies” by the likes of David Byrne and Cindy Sherman which you can watch while you wait in line for your theater to open. There’s also new carpeting, which is always nice.
- Good things that have NOT changed at the new Film Forum: the layout of the lobby, and that funky, zig-zagging standing table; the generous slate of member benefits (their subscription-based model means they never have, nor ever will, accept MoviePass); the commitment to both new and classic movies; and, perhaps most important, the popcorn.
Summer’s most joyous dance party lit up Fort Greene Park yesterday with the first of two Soul Summit Music Festivals, as thousands of people packed into the area around the Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument for an afternoon and evening of sweat, sexiness, food, nutcrackers, amazing outfits, and most all, dancing with abandon to a non-stop mix of classic house music. The Soul Summit crew have been throwing this party for 15 years now, and it just keeps getting bigger, with picnickers spread out in all directions.
The second Fort Greene Soul Summit will be on Sunday, August 12. If you want to dance, it’s best to come early, even right at 3pm when things get under way, and stake out a spot on the shaded dance plaza. The music goes until 8pm, but by 6:30pm or so there are so many people that it’s difficult to even get close to the action. Local vendors sell food, beverages, and various merchandise. Soul Summit is also headlining MoMA PS1’s Warm Up dance party this year, on Saturday, August 25.
The Giglio Feast, a Williamsburg tradition since 1903, is going on now in the streets around Our Lady of Mount Carmel church on Havemeyer. And while most of Giglio will be familiar to anyone who’s ever been to any NYC Italian street feast–there are lots of cigars, fried sausages, zeppole, carnival rides, and sucker games–it’s the crazy spectacle of the highly ritualized “lifts” that makes the Williamsburg festival so special.
MoMA PS1 has once again brought their crack aesthetic instincts and curatorial muscle out to Fort Tilden for the summer, this year hosting a fantastic installation by one of the most popular artists of our time, Yayoi Kusama’s “Narcissus Garden.”
Arriving, amazingly, with almost zero hype, a four-story contemporary art museum opened over the weekend on one of the busiest corners of the East Village, news that feels more 1978 than 2018, when even global chains aren’t willing to pay the rent around these parts. Admission is completely free, it’s open to everyone, and there’s even a lovely little sculpture garden on the roof!
The glorious kicker: the place took over a bank.