The obstacles faced by the more than 2.3 million incarcerated people in the United States today are enormous, and the consequences of the prison system are felt by whole communities, families, and the 5 million children who have at least one parent either currently or previously imprisoned.
Art + Culture
Tuesday November 22, 7:30 pm at Light Industry: $8 at the door
Light Industry is billing next week’s screening event as a reading (“broadly defined”), which sounds interesting but also begs the question: lol what?
As you may or may not know, Light Industry is more or less a cinema and film discussion forum, but with Projective Life they’re opening up the floor to some good old-fashion poetry and prose, setting the stage for an interesting dialogue between the oral/literary and their usual video and projection modes and getting rid of the “sad exigencies of plot” altogether: “Under these conditions, a film can act as a reading and reading may become a kind of film.”
The video shows Contessa Stuto pretty much topless in the middle of an Election Night party on the Bowery, with a submissive dog-girl yipping wildly at her feet. According to the musician and founder of the Cunt Mafia record and fashion label, there was nothing too crazy about this. “That’s just me in the club anyway,” she explained.
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Video Daughters, Quin Galavis, 2;Frail, Drome
Wednesday November 16, 8 pm at Alphaville: $8
The good people at Alphaville haven’t been mincing words about their views on the election, that’s for sure. Actions, of course, scream louder than words, but music, also, is technically much louder than chatter. Thankfully, there’s the grinding, cathartic freakout music of Video Daughters to help bridge the gap. See them in person and it might just be the energy jolt that so many of us so badly need to pull ourselves out of this Trump Slump before we’re sucked down further than our current near-hopeless position of in-chin-deep.
“Preservationist” has become something of a slur, used to denigrate the old-timers and neo-hippies who’d rather save ratty old tenant buildings and dusty mom-and-pop stores than make way for clean big-box stores with cheap stuff for everyone, and skyscraping mixed-use luxury complexes with their affordable housing pittance. It’s sorta like: C’mon, New York City is, by its nature, dynamic and changing. But the ever-faster pace of development and the lightyear rate of change have made for an urban landscape where transformation takes place exponentially and squeezes out the very people who have made this city vibrant and interesting in the first place.
Over the weekend, a slew of more than 40 local and visiting artists, as well as organizations like the Chinatown Art Brigade (a grassroots effort tackling the divisive issue of gallery-led gentrification in their neighborhood) demonstrated that preservation doesn’t have to be backward-looking.
Since Thursday, the white walls at Eric Firestone Gallery have been wholly devoted to just a small portion of Henry Chalfant’s archive of “subway photographs.” Henry Chalfant: 1980 focuses on a year in which graffiti was still regarded as subversive and dangerous. At the same time, street art was at its most vibrant and anarchic. The work offers not only a trip back to the “golden age of graffiti,” but a thorough “visual anthropology,” as Chalfant describes it– a studied view of street culture back when it actually came from the streets.
The mood was shifting just as I made my way toward House of Yes around 10 pm last night. Commentators on NBC, CNN, and anywhere else were starting to look flustered– especially Wolf Blitzer (a guy who looks like he passed up coffee to stick his fingers into an electrical socket) whose discombobulated outbursts and spastic reportage were only adding to a slowly-building sense of panic. Many battlegroud states were still too close to call, but Trump and Hillary were now neck-and-neck. That menacing meter on the New York Times site, which measured the probability of a Trump victory, was jumping up from its position at “we’re cool” to “we’re so, so fucked.”
Mutual Crush VII: Mzungu, Drunken Sufis, Amar
Wednesday November 11, 8 pm at Elvis Guesthouse: free
Ongoing live music series Mutual Crush returns with a show that “focuses heavily on noise/ambient music,” and a reminder that such sounds tend to “evoke a meditative reaction in the listener”– lord knows that’s just the ticket to sliding back into some semblance of normalcy after all this election garbage crap.
This election cycle has been louder than most, with red-faced screaming, epic shout-downs, and showers of insults pummeling over political decorum. The Choice Is Yours, a new art show grown out of the clunky mechanical levers of cumbersome voting machines, feels unusually quiet by comparison, almost to the point of being meditative.
“I thought it would be fun to turn them into these choice machines,” the artist, R. Luke DuBois explained. “Maybe it makes you think twice when you get into an actual voting booth on Tuesday.”
The Prison in Twelve Landscapes
Friday November 4, 7 pm and 9:15 pm and through Wednesday November 9 at Anthology Film Archives: $11
This documentary explores the far-reaching consequences of incarceration across the United States, without ever setting foot inside the prison proper. It’s a fascinating take on the impact of the prison system from a different perspective than the one we’re used to, in which the cameras are literally being behind bars. Instead, the subject is approached through absence and invisibility, from the parallel infrastructures that bring food and supplies into penitentiaries to women prisoners fighting forest fires in California.
Attending an art opening usually means agreeing to a trade-off: in exchange for free booze and the company of other humans, you won’t be seeing much, if any of the art work. But at “Slow, Dimwitted Carnage,” the second exhibition from newcomer gallery Coustof Waxman, guests can have their art and, um, drink it too.
As of this morning, the beloved Pavilion is officially no more. Even visiting the Park Slope movie theater’s website early this morning turned up a ghostly message in washed-out grey: “http://www.paviliontheater.com/ has been disabled.”
It’s only appropriate, given that Nitehawk cinemas–the proud new owners of the ratty old Art Deco theater that’s been in decline for several years now– threw a proper New Orleans-style jazz funeral for the place.