Last week at Bushwick gallery Powrplnt, a group of colorfully-dressed folk sat down and discussed gender. They spoke of societal constructs, deadnames, toxic masculinity, and how norms surrounding body hair can be racist, all while surrounded by eager listeners and an array of art and zines. While some gallery exhibitions have just one night of special programming, this was but one mere component of the multifaceted Death Becomes Her, a show curated by Liberian-American multidisciplinary Vei Darling exploring how concepts of death and femininity intersect in both spirituality and society. Keep Reading »
Awards shows may be a great way to spend an evening, but at the end of the day you’re usually watching a bunch of fancy rich people give shiny trophies to a bunch of other fancy rich people while even more fancy rich people watch. Plus, the elite group who voted for the nominees? They’re more than likely to also be fancy rich people. But then, there’s the Brooklyn Nightlife Awards, where the performers getting trophies (well, more like bricks with plaques on them) may look fancy, but it’s probable they creatively cobble together most of their eye-catching outfits and props using stuff from thrift shops and the dollar store, just like the rest of us. Keep Reading »
Stuck in town this Memorial Day weekend? You’re better off avoiding the mile-long airport lines anyway, so consider yourself lucky. But just in case you’re tired of hitting up to Smorgasburg for the third weekend in a row or staring at your computer screen as you Netflix your life away, Bedford + Bowery has put together plenty of options to keep you entertained over the long weekend.
In the middle of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, a tin full of dried worms was passed around, and I was strongly encouraged to sample one.
Crimes of the Gods
Opening Wednesday, May 23 at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 29.
The mythology of Greek gods have been around for ages, and usually comprise a large chunk of one’s education, whether that be in grade school or college theater classes. But something that is often glazed over or diminished in seriousness is the deep-seated misogyny inherent in many of these powerful characters, and how their actions may have laid a foundation for how our world operates today. Artist Susanna Coffey published an art book in 1988 centered around these tales of gods (men) taking what they want (women, usually), and woodcuts made from these images will be on view alongside self-portraits imbued with the same passionate feminine anger. “Now I see that the tale told in The Homeric Hymn is more of an ongoing truth than a myth,” Coffey writes in an essay included with the exhibition, and it’s worth wondering if the opposite will ever be true. Keep Reading »
The emailed instructions, addressed to Cosmonauts of Narrative, said to look for the man in the red fez, which was easy enough, but his directions were more complex. “Take a left out of the bar and click to the next slide every half block,” participants in the night’s Constellations of Ego event were told as we were handed View-Masters and sent out of Bed Stuy’s cozy Project Parlor and into the misty evening. If correctly interpreted, the retro-formatted clues led to the side entrance of a kosher supermarket. Homemade stick-and-gauze-wrapped stars were handed out to all by an eye-patched organizer in the unremarkable entryway before we were sent skyward, the journey upwards guided by a fleet of golden lamps hung in the space between the rails. On the roof, circles formed around electric campfires and the storytellers started in.
Pussy Riot launched their US tour at Bushwick’s Elsewhere last Thursday night with a bold display of their actionist performance art. Summoning the energy of a protest rally, Pussy Riot’s co-founder Nadya Tolokonnikova led her fellow balaclava-clad DJ and dancers through a foray of their videos and songs that were strewn with their activist goals. Opener Dorian Electra also fed that spirit; with prominent figures of equality in attendance such as artist Marina Abramovic and Bust magazine co-founder Laurie Henzel, the show became much more than a concert.
May 16-June 3 at The Bushwick Starr, 8 pm: $20-25
Singlet, the new show from the singular (get it, singular sounds like “singlet”) mind of performance and cabaret artist Erin Markey is about wrestling, yes, but it is also about so much more. That’s not a metaphor or anything; this show about friendship and rivalry takes its inspiration from everyone’s favorite performative form of consensual violence involving spandex and rings, but also Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, Precious Moments collectible dolls, Jean Genet’s The Maids (aka one of the plays everyone directed scenes from in theater school to be edgy), couples counseling podcasts, and a myriad more references I may never fully comprehend, tbh. Markey will be performing alongside frequent collaborator Emily Davis, and I wouldn’t be surprised if tickets sell out soon, so as the teens say, hop to it.
Last month we shared news that Elsewhere was opening up its rooftop for summer concerts, DJ parties, happy hours, film screenings, and food pop-ups. Now the good folks over at East Williamsburg’s newest venue have sent over some photos of the roof, along with some more details about what to expect.
This Alien Nation
Wednesday, May 9 at Joe’s Pub, 7 pm: $20 advance, $25 doors
It would take a lot of willful ignorance not to see that living as an immigrant in Trump’s America (or even in Obama’s) can be an experience fraught with anxiety, fear, and a sense of disappointment in a large portion of humanity. But for all the cruel, discriminatory people out there, there are others who make a point of giving immigrants a platform to tell their own stories and maybe even get paid for it. Sofija Stefanovic’s This Alien Nation is one such show, providing a monthly space for some of their “favorite outsiders” to show an audience whatever it is they do best. This month, guest hosted by Abeer Hoque, features storyteller Mansoor Basha, poet and drag performer Wo Chan, comedian Ana Fabrega, journalist and author Aatish Taseer, performer and filmmaker Angel Yau, and musician Amalia Watty. Keep Reading »
Salsa Soul Sisters: Honoring Lesbians of Color
Opening Wednesday, May 9 at EFA Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, 6 pm. On view through June 29.
There are only a paltry handful of lesbian-specific spaces left in the city, but many initiatives exist to inform of the bars, venues, and collectives that make up lesbian and queer history in the city and beyond. The Lesbian Herstory Archives in collaboration with EFA will be presenting an archival exhibition that shines a light on the Salsa Soul Sisters, a collective of lesbian and bisexual Black, Latina, Indigenous, and Asian-American women founded in NYC in 1976. If you can’t make the opening reception on Wednesday, there will be a panel discussion and open mic on June 1 and a closing reception on June 29. Keep Reading »
After announcing its closure in March, Silent Barn said goodbye on Sunday night with a concert aptly named Last Rites. The all-night event included a line-up of house favorites and a back-room dance party where the partitioned workspaces had been demolished ahead of the collectively-run Bushwick venue’s departure. Though it survived the loss of its previous space, a fire in the new one and constant financial issues, Silent Barn had soldiered on inside its bright, muraled collection of buildings on a tiny trianglular city block. Local youth community group Educated Little Monsters, which was housed there, had hoped to take over the lease with the help of a recent fundraiser but as ELM founder Yazmine “Jazo Brooklyn” Colon told us, “the landlord would not negotiate even though were under the impression he would.”