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Robotic Theater, Online Anxiety, and More Art This Week

(image courtesy of Disclaimer Gallery)

Anxiety Sex
Opening Wednesday April 12 at Disclaimer Gallery, 6 pm to 10 pm. On view through May 8.

Ah, anxiety and sex, two things that go together like peanut butter and jelly, or perhaps crying and bathrooms. Artist Charlotte Greene, the latest to set up shop at the inclusive Disclaimer Gallery inside the Silent Barn, sees this all too well. Focusing on the many strange ways digital encounters can translate to IRL ones, Greene has formed an array of digital collages made from predictive iPhone text, tweets, stream-of-consciousness writing, and more.

Riffing off of a computer’s ability to zoom, distort, crop, and alter images, many aspects of these collages have been modified accordingly, often to the extent that they are hardly legible anymore. This manipulation mirrors the strange spirit of online communication, in that it can be so easily seen as something larger, smaller, or entirely different than it ever intended to be. Talk about #relatablecontent!

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Troll Museum’s Comeback Lets Rev Jen Supporters Pay the Troll Toll

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

Even hazy patrons bumbling their way out of opium dens– if the dope cave hadn’t been replaced by frou frou cocktail bars– would have had a hard time missing a gallery boom like the one currently going down in Chinatown. Increasingly fancy art palaces are moving in, bringing with them pristine minimalism and white-walled remove, which presents a pretty dramatic departure from the existing chaotic density of saggy red-yellow-and-smog-colored awnings, old ladies in bucket hats hustling meat sticks, careening unmarked buses hiding in alleyways that you didn’t know New York City had, murky fish tank smells, frenetically blinking neon signs, and countless aging storefronts overflowing with sun-bleached gecko supplements, acupuncture diagrams, and yellowing, curly-edged Chinese calendars.

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Coming Up: Nacho Cheese in a Chocolate Fountain and 3 Other Things in Unexpected Places

Sometimes it can get a little old going to the same bars, galleries, shows, knowing the kind of stuff you’ll see there. So, shake it up with…

A live band at karaoke:

(image via Be Yourself / Facebook)

(image via Be Yourself / Facebook)

Be Yourself Karaoke!
Saturday, July 30 at Cake Shop, 152 Ludlow Street, Lower East Side. Doors at 8pm, music at 9pm. $10. More info here.
Karaoke is always a fun choice (I’m aware many would disagree) but karaoke backing tracks can often be in weird keys and sound like an early 2000s MIDI version of the song you actually wanted to sing. That’s all about to change with Be Yourself Karaoke, a live band that specifically plays ’90s/early 2000s emo and pop-punk songs with audience members as the lead singer. The setlist of songs to choose from is much less overwhelming than those huge karaoke binders and includes hits from Yellowcard, Fall Out Boy, Say Anything, Good Charlotte, and more. Yes, that means you too can relive that dream of bopping around your bedroom yelling to MCR while wearing too much eyeliner, only this time you’ll have a microphone and a stage.

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Video: Artist’s Naked Squatting Stunt Really Bowled People Over

The panting dog was somewhat unsettling, but the click of a digital camera was just plain upsetting, because both seemed to violate the air of silence and vulnerability as Lisa Levy sat naked on a toilet seat in an ironic homage to Marina Abramović’s The Artist is Present. Then again, these weird ways of interacting with the artist were more exciting to watch than people who approached the porcelain throne and looking blankly at Levy for what could easily be dismissed as a glorified staring contest.

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Film: Dangle for Expanded Cinema and See Marnie’s BF Looking Not So Hot

Iraqi Odyssey 
Thursday Dec. 3, 6:05 pm and 9:20 pm at IFC Center, 323 6th Avenue: $14
How much do you know about Iraq, like really? Take away the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein, and our 43rd President’s awful pronunciation of the name belonging to a country that’s informed so much public discussion in the past few decades (but so little real understanding), and we’re guessing the answer is: not so much. Iraqi ex-pat filmmaker Samir takes viewers on an informative trip through his homeland’s history through a very personal lens, his family tree.

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Paintings Inspired by the Real Housewives and ‘Comfort Creatures’ Coming to Greenpoint

"Blue Onesie," painting by Kharis Kennedy (2015)

“Blue Onesie,” painting by Kharis Kennedy (2015)

Next week Kharis Kennedy will unveil a series of new paintings as part of her solo exhibition, Comfort Animals, at The Greenpoint Gallery. Though Kennedy has been living in St. Croix for the last five years, her work is still imbued with trappings of high-society life and obsessive consumerism she picked up on while living in New York City. But a midnight-hued vision of her new home in the tropics is slowly beginning to take over.

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Agathe Snow Is Blowing Into The Journal Gallery

Agathe Snow, whose work often blends performance with immersive multimedia installations, is opening a new show, Continuum, tonight. This is the Corsican-born artist’s first solo exhibition at Journal Gallery in Williamsburg. Snow is the ex-wife of the late Dash Snow (they married when he was just 18 years old) whose pal Ryan McGinley has some new photos up, incidentally, in a show called Winter at Team Gallery.

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Alone At Last : Slip Into a Booth and Prepare to Be Seduced

(Film still via "Alone at Last", Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong)

(Film still via “Alone at Last”, Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong)

“At that time in New York things were really wild,” Emily Armstrong recalled of the ’70s punk scene. She and her partner, Pat Ivers, are old school East Village types– they truly lived the Downtown era, and lucky for us they documented over 100 shows at CBGBs, filming bands like DNA and unbelievable moments like Iggy Pop covering Frank Sinatra for their weekly TV show, Nightclubbing. After NYU’s Fales Library acquired their archive for the Downtown Collection, thousands of the duo’s film reels were digitized and, for a time, were part of a weekly column at B+B.

Alone at Last emerged out of that archival effort and now, after more than 30 years since the artists last saw them, the 1981 black-and-white vignettes featuring 52 people who were prompted to seduce the viewer, will be shown at Howl! Happening. The video series captures the last breath of the freewheeling ’70s Downtown scene right before AIDS hit. “People who have seen it feel that it’s a very interesting depiction of that culture, that moment, because it was truly a moment. Soon after it was shot, people realized what AIDS was. So having a lot of sex for pleasure was completely redefined: having a lot of open sex was suicide. Things really changed, really fast.”

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How the ‘Fuck Paintings’ of Betty Tompkins Landed in Art Jail

"Ersatz Kiss #1" by Betty Tompkins (Photo: Nicole Disser)

left, “Ersatz Kiss #1” and right, “Masturbation Painting #9” by Betty Tompkins (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Betty Tompkins spent decades working as, in her own words, “your typical rejected artist.” On and off again since 1969, she’s painted up-close-and-personal images of sex– literally, contact between nether regions, penetration, and other intimate moments. But it wasn’t until more than 30 years later that her work, more specifically her “fuck paintings,” began getting more attention than shame. Recently, the artist has revived the subject that inspired her the most and continues to evolve her process, as seen in her latest work now on view at BHQFU‘s project space and gallery FUG (Foundation University Gallery) in the East Village, as part of Tompkins’ solo show, Real Ersatz. 

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At Girls at Night On the Internet, No ‘Old White Dudes Who Are Totally Out of Touch’

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

If Girls at Night on the Internet is a pool full of multicolored Jell-O, then the digi-only gallery known as Art Baby, founded by 26-year-old artist and curator Grace Miceli, is the diving board. “Being a girl at night on the internet is where I personally found the confidence to share my work and to create this really supportive community of artists,” explained Miceli, who also curated this show. “For me, it’s an identity and a space I wanted to celebrate. Being a girl at night on the internet is where I met all these artists and, in a very basic way, it’s just a description of where this all comes from. And this show has just been partially about bringing this world that already exists to a broader audience.”

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From the Factory to Clublandia, Two Exhibitions Will Bring You Back to the Good Ol’ Days

The Last Party exhibition at WhiteBox (Photo: Nicole Disser)

The Last Party exhibition at WhiteBox (Photo: Nicole Disser)

While wandering from gallery to gallery yesterday in the Lower East Side, soaking up a pair of museum-like nostalgia exhibitions focusing on at least one part if not all of a few-decades long span from Warhol’s Factory days through the ’90s club kid scene, I started thinking about a conversation I’d had with one JJ Brine, Satanic gallerist extraordinaire. Before JJ took off for Vanuatu (btw according to his Facebook page, he made it just fine), he explained he was departing indefinitely because he was frustrated with what he understood as New York City’s unusual fixation on the past at the expense of devoting energy to the future. I couldn’t have agreed more, but somehow The Last Party and Michael Alig’s appropriately-titled solo exhibition, Inside / Out succeed in drawing a line, however crooked, between the past and the present and making this nostalgia part of current existence. How? Well, I felt as though I could almost see myself in some of the blurry old party photos and even the creepy clown-like painted odes to various poisons of choice.

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Your Comprehensive Guide to a Nasty Week of Punk Festivities

(poster by Alexander Heir)

(poster by Alexander Heir)

It’s finally almost here, New York’s Alright 2015! Get excited for this year’s all things punk fest where tons of related official and unofficial happenings are being held in and around Bushwick, Greenpoint, East Williamsburg, and the Lower East Side. And you can stop screaming now, this isn’t a festival in any traditional / horrendous sense of the word, meaning you can put all your eggs in a basket marked “no” as in no you aren’t going to find anyone looking “Coachella as fuck” at this event. Or maybe you will. I haven’t turned on any TVs in a while so there’s a distinct possibility I’ve just been asleep at the wheel and Coachella hats are the new normcore. Well, normcore be damned — it’s time to break out your spikes, boys and girls (but only if you like saxophones).

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