By the time I arrived at Knockdown Center on Saturday night for day two of Nasty Women– the four-day, all-women exhibition and giant middle finger directed at Trump–the place had been all but cleaned out. All anyone could talk about was the “epic” turnout for opening night– even the shuttle bus driver sounded beat when he told me how he helped move “thousands” of people back and forth between Knockdown and the Jefferson stop.
Thursday January 12 through Sunday January 15 at Knockdown Center: first night free, $10 individual, $20 all access pass
Earlier we told you about Nasty Women, the massive new exhibition bringing a whopping 1,000 pieces of art made by 700 artists (all of them women and female-identifying) to Knockdown Center this Friday. The organizers have lined up a “very diverse” group for the everything’s-for-sale exhibition (if you buy it, you get to drag it out the door with you that day), which pretty much guarantees a feeding frenzy. Sounds scary? Well, suck it up and relish in the competition because, seriously, when’s the last time you truly got excited about anything? Plus, if you can bring yourself to cough up a hundo bill–at the very most, since the art work must be priced at $100 or less (yup, that even applies to the fancy sparkly art stars involved in the show)– you can feel like a somewhat sorta decent half-human because all the proceeds are going to Planned Parenthood.
A new art show opening this week is just the sort of hopeful omen we need really, really need right now, just one week before this horror show of an election culminates in Donald Trump’s inauguration, when he’ll make history as the Free World’s very first Twitter Troll in Chief. Nasty Women is proof that, even though we can expect many, many more deeply ignorant, casually misogynist remarks (like the one that inspired this show) to drop like so many pigeon poos from the stratospheric heights of Trump Tower, there are an even greater number of people out there who are refusing to let this stuff slide.
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 26
Brooklyn Bazaar, 150 Greenpoint Ave., Greenpoint; 7pm; free
The web’s best animators set out to prove that everything is scarier when it’s looped for all eternity at this contest from the folks at GIPHY and Brooklyn’s Animation Block Party. The coolest entries are being screened and measured up by celebrity judges at the Brooklyn Bazaar’s new four-story space — here’s hoping for lots of animated homages to the dancing pumpkin man. Plus, on Saturday BK Bazaar is doing their “Brooklyn Fright Bazaar,” with musical tributes to The Cramps and The Bee Gees, games, karaoke (guess they found a manager), a Halloween drinking game contest (yikes), food and more.
It’s rare when a music trend hits at all levels of the listener spectrum, but right now African music is resonating with everyone from pop junkies and passive, whatever’s-playing-at-the-club consumers to crate-diggers with eclectic collections and torrent combers with multiple hard drives devoted to the most obscure sounds they can find.
The Internet has been quietly aflutter lately with a sort of drag debate: drag kings rallying for their place in the scene after RuPaul recently said kings and queens “don’t really mix”; “faux queens” or “bio-queens” asserting that their drag is as valid and subversive as other drag queens only to garner an entire response essay picking apart their argument. Though drag is indeed replete with layers and a multifaceted history, including its ongoing relationship with trans and gender non-conforming folk, Ru did classically say, “We’re all born naked, and the rest is drag.” However, one could look to the ever-growing medium of Internet Thinkpieces and get a sense that the scene is much more fragmented than that.
Long Gone and Missing
Opening Wednesday August 1, 7 pm to 9 pm at Shin Gallery. On view through September 10.
Imagine a beach on the Lower East Side. Now imagine that beach stuffed inside an art gallery. Some might call it crazy, but this wacky dream will become reality at the opening of Peyton Freiman’s solo show, Long Gone and Missing. The Brooklyn-based artist (who also recently showed a piece in loft-gallery Club 157’s first group show) will transform Shin Gallery into a “veritable beach playground” filled with his colorful mixed media works on paper.
Friday, July 8, 8 pm at the Acheron: $15.
In honor of the Acheron and the punk scene it has put up with, fed/clothed, and sated for the last six years, the East Williamsburg venue (which is closing due to a struggle with their insurance company) is gathering up its biddies and besties to bid farewell to its hallowed walls. As the venue’s co-owner Bill Dozer promised, they’re filling up the last stretch with a bunch of benefits, including their very last night of business which is dedicated to the family of Brandon Ferrell (former drummer for Municipal Waste), a local musician and friend of everyone, apparently. All profits and bar sales from the show are going to the family, so you can feel good about getting super, super sloshed at the Acheron’s last hurrah.
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.
If you enter the cordoned-off projection room at LA-based artist Alison O’Daniel‘s newly-opened exhibition, Room Tone at just the right moment (anytime between now and May 8, when the show is on view at Knockdown Center), you’ll bump right into the summer of 1980, when a packed house at one of San Francisco’s weirdest “social experiments” known as the Deaf Club, had gathered for the venue’s very last punk show. The legendary punk club, which had originally functioned as a social club for the deaf since it was founded in the 1930s, came about when the building’s owners decided to rent out some extra space. The deaf social remained while the place became a raucous DIY show space by night, drawing artists, musicians, and underground types like John Waters.
In O’Daniel’s film, we see some of the deaf people playing card games, unperturbed as the floors rattle and shake around them, and others wandering through the punk show as if in a dream, continuing to engage in their intimate sign conversations, while the wild noise around them proves to have little power in disrupting their connection. On the flip side, the punk show goes on, too– the presence of the Deaf Club members has no effect on the punk catharsis. I imagined a giant venn diagram– the small sliver in the center being the smidgen of experience that the deaf and hearing people shared in this scene, and the almost whole worlds that remained intact outside where the circles met. As a hearing impaired person, O’Daniel can jump back-and-forth between these two separate circles of experience, just one perspective that makes Room Tone so profoundly brain shifting.
Drones– amongst the most controversial technology of our time– as weapons, tools, and toys have given us the opportunity to see things through a new pair of eyes. Curators at Knockdown Center spent months recruiting a bunch of artists to utilize drones in relation to art work, however that may be interpreted.Visitors will have a chance to fly the drones themselves through various obstacle course-like installations and engage with them in participatory performance art like Cara Francis’ Remote in which the artist’s drone interrogates then dances with volunteers.
Special performances are scheduled throughout the exhibition’s tenure.
Read more here.