installation art

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Can This Sprawling, Immersive Exploration of Surveillance ‘Change the Face of Culture’ in Bushwick?

(photo: Walter Wlodarczyk)

(photo: Walter Wlodarczyk)

On May 20, the 50,000-square-foot Knockdown Center will become the site of a bold new experiment in live performance. Authority Figure, directed by performance/dance/sound artists Monica Mirabile and Sarah Kinlaw, is an immersive and participatory experience exploring themes of surveillance, authority, and obedience. Appropriately vast in scale, it features over 150 performers (including a child and a pregnant woman), and has been created with six choreographers, seven installation artists, and six musicians, including local faves Pictureplane, SOPHIE, and Hot Sugar.

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Meriem Bennani Surfs Through Morocco in Gradual Kingdom

"Gradual Kingdom" at Signal Gallery in Bushwick (Photo: Nicole Disser)

“Gradual Kingdom” at Signal Gallery in Bushwick (Photo: Nicole Disser)

To get a feel for Meriem Bennani‘s work, it’s best to look up @meriembennani on Instagram. After scrolling through the photoshopped weirdness and absurd takes on everything from Drake videos to the avant-garde hijabs of Fardaous Funjab, you’ll find that Bennani is really good at the internet. So good, that the Times was moved to highlight her, qualifying her as a representative “Millennial Artist” fluent in the language of post-Internet. Millennial accusations aside, she’s one of those people who makes the internet weird/smart and not just weird/depressing. In other words, Bennani’s work actually deserves that happy-tears cat emoji.

Gradual Kingdom is the artist’s most significant solo-installation presence yet; now on view at Signal Gallery, it offers an opportunity for people to see Meriem Bennani, for once, in slow motion.

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