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A ‘New Yonic Era’ and More Art This Week

(image via Cooler Gallery)

Surface Tension
Opening Tuesday, July 31 at Cooler Gallery, 7 pm to 9 pm. On view through August 12.

Some art has sweeping sociopolitical messages, while other art serves a primarily aesthetic purpose. Neither is better or worse: sometimes you want to be provoked into thinking deeply about the world around you and sometimes you just want to be dazzled by how cool something looks. The work of mixed media artist Senem Oezdogan (presented in partnership with Uprise Art) falls more into the latter category, consisting largely of “fiber-based geometric studies” inspired by architecture, shapes, and the textures of fabrics. They’re fairly simple pieces, featuring abstract shapes and rich splashes of color, and manage to convey an alluring calmness in their playful minimalism. Rather than fixating on what message an artwork might be trying to proclaim, Oezdogan’s work invites you to merely appreciate the visuals. If it makes you feel nice, you don’t need to question it. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Wallace Shawn, Heavy Metal Comedy, and More

THURSDAY

(image via The Sinner’s Kit Kat Cabaret / Facebook)

The Sinner’s Kit Kat Cabaret
Thursday, July 19 at Bizarre Bushwick, 10 pm: $10 suggested donation

Even though your parents probably told you otherwise, it can be fun to sin. Someone who knows that well is Vic Sin, a dance, drag, and burlesque performer who produces The Sinner’s Kit Kat Cabaret every month at Bizarre, which is hosted by drag performer (and leader of the inimitable queer drag and burlesque collective Beefsquad) Lee VaLone. It also happens to be Lee’s birthday, so you know the show will be extra special. Helping celebrate (and sin) will be the stacked lineup of C’Etait BonTemps, Angelica Sundae, Devo Monique, Dynasty, Laé D. Boi, Mini Horrorwitz, Nyx Nocturne, and Theydy Bedbug. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Algorithms, Jesus, and Bottle Blondes

(image via Flowers Gallery NY / Facebook)

yes no maybe
Opening Tuesday, July 17 at Flowers Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through August 24.

Thanks to social media, the word “algorithm” is no longer something only mentioned in math class. I’d say for better or for worse, but we all know that people typically invoke talks of The Algorithm when they are complaining about the latest way it’s seeming to screw them over. A new group exhibition at Chelsea’s Flowers Gallery, which takes its title from the mathematical theory of probability, asks five artists to create works using their own algorithmic processes. This may sound intimidating until you realize an algorithm isn’t much more than a purposeful pattern that repeats over time, which is something done in art often. The artists of yes no maybe (all prolific and regarded in their respective fields) take their algorithmic inspiration from topics as varied as geometric microscopic organisms, Berlin’s Tempelhof airport, jazz music, and hypercubes. At the opening, there will be a panel discussion with Beryl Korot, Manfred Mohr and Judith Stenneken, moderated by Zabet Patterson, a professor and writer who focuses on how contemporary art and computing interact. Keep Reading »

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Art About America and More Exhibitions Opening This Week

(image via Con Artist Collective / Facebook)

Amurikana
Opening Wednesday, July 4 at Con Artist Collective, 7 pm to 11 pm.

The 4th of July falls on a Wednesday this year, which for the people with Real Jobs means you probably have to drink less than you would if it was on a weekend. It’s also admittedly a weird and unsettling time to have a holiday that’s supposed to celebrate patriotism and America when in just the past week families were torn apart, children were kept in cages, journalists were shot dead at a local newspaper, and a Supreme Court Justice who occasionally voted in non-conservative ways announced his retirement. Even so, it can be comforting to come together for a little merry-making. If you’re looking for something to do before or after a rooftop party, backyard BBQ, or other outdoor activity, the artists of Con Artist Collective are putting up a show appropriately all about America, whatever that might mean to them. Keep Reading »

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Queer Intimacy From Mapplethorpe and Goldin, Plus More Art This Week

Hikaru Fujii, The Primary Fact, video still, 2018, seven-channel video, 73 min. Courtesy of the artist. (image via ISCP / Facebook)

The Primary Fact
Opening Tuesday, June 26 at the International Studio and Curatorial Program, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through October 12.

Did you know there is a recently-excavated mass grave in Athens, Greece with contents dating back to 7 B.C., including “eighty shackled skeletons” with great teeth? Artist and current resident at the International Studio and Curatorial Program Hikaru Fujii does, and he’s spent a lot of time documenting and learning about this curious piece of history. The result of this work will be on view in The Primary Fact, the artist’s first solo exhibition in the U.S. It features predominantly video and photography, focusing on the “inconclusive scientific viewpoints” that have emerged about the grave, its contents, and its history. In addition to displaying actual imagery from the Athenian grave, Fujii also assembled a group of Greek men to recreate the choreographic moment of mass execution (presumably due to a political coup) that led to this grave in the first place. Keep Reading »

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I Love the ‘Straighties,’ and More of This Week’s Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(image via Stigma Unbound / Eventbrite)

Stigma Unbound: Pride
Thursday, June 21 at Secret Location, 8 pm: $15-30

You probably haven’t forgotten, but it’s Pride month. To sex-worker-centric event series Stigma Unbound, Pride means something more than merely slapping a rainbow flag onto your coffee mug or banner ad. “In contrast to corporate and official pride celebrations, we come together on this night to share personal stories and perspectives on what pride really means if you’re queer, a person of color, gender nonconforming, trans, or a sex worker,” they say. At a secret dungeon in Brooklyn, a variety of performances from sex workers and their allies will unfold, exploring topics such as queerness and trans identity, white supremacy, lost loved ones, and fantasy. After the show, the evening will turn into an inclusive, consent-focused, all-gender play party for those who want to engage in a little post-show steaminess. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Disasters, Morir Soñando, a Different Dia:Beacon

(image via Fridman Gallery / Facebook)

Edge of Eden
Opening Wednesday, June 20 at Fridman Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through July 20.

Maybe all your friends have been to Dia:Beacon, that trendy hub of Minimalist art just a hop, skip, and a jump upstate, but you haven’t made it yet. Fret not—there’s a way to experience it without figuring out how to convince your friend’s roommate to let you use their car. The art and the scenery will be rendered in paint as part of German painter Alina Grasmann’s solo exhibition at Fridman Gallery, Edge of Eden. The show has two components: large paintings of Dia:Beacon’s scenery and art with components of other notable paintings added in, and 40 small oil paintings of Agloe, a fictional New York town dreamt up to prevent map copyright that became real for a spell and then dissipated once more. Combined, the two painting series conjure a New York that’s outside the city and maybe even our reality. Keep Reading »

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Tonight, A Chasm Of Art And Performance Opens Again In Brooklyn

Julia Sinelnikova (photo: Luis Nieto Dickens)

In December 2016, we spoke with artist and curator Julia Sinelnikova (known in some circles as The Oracle) about her festival CHASM, which intended to be four days of music, multimedia art, DJ sets, and more in a secret, industrial East Williamsburg location. However, four days became just two—it was cut short out of fear of a raid, as the city was in the midst of increased crackdowns on DIY spaces following the deadly Ghost Ship fire in Oakland. Keep Reading »

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Magic’s in the Air—and the Performances—at Green-Wood Cemetery’s Secret Feminist Society

Green-Wood Cemetery (Photo: Kat Burdick)

As I step under an arch leading into Green-Wood Cemetery, a smiling woman instructs me to “follow the orbs,” directing my attention to dozens of silver balloons scattered amongst the graves like morbid party decorations. Haunting music grows louder as I descend a hill to find a magnificent church.  Sitting on the cemetery lawn next to a pair of women sipping red wine mere feet away from a headstone feels mildly sacrilegious, but the Green-Wood Cemetery is no stranger to special events. 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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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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Kevin Bacon Worship, Comedy While Jogging, and More Performance Picks

(image via Fresh Ground Pepper / Facebook)

Fresh Ground Pepper Festival
Now through April 21 at New Ohio Theater, various times, various prices.

If you thought theater festivals just happen during January and in the summer for Fringe, think again, my friend. There is a theater festival happening right now, and I don’t mean that in the theoretical sense. I mean that performance incubator Fresh Ground Pepper’s first-ever festival is actually happening, right now, until April 21. Unlike some theater festivals which just have some plays and some musicals maybe, there’s quite the dose of variety with this one. In addition to new play readings and devised theater showings, here are two late-night comedy evenings curated by everyone’s fave deranged comedian Lorelei Ramirez, a politically-themed “experimental art party,” a day of activities for actual children, and more.

If you’re around tonight, there’ll be readings of Krista Knight’s High Blonde, a play about city planning and accessibility, and Nate Weida and Ben Holbrook’s musical The Church of the 1st Order of Cloud City’s Inaugural Unity Jamboree, which is not about the art space in Williamsburg. Keep Reading »