performance art

No Comments

This Occultish ‘Rave for Adults’ is Using ‘Radical Intimacy’ to Find Realness in Art

An attendee of "The Hidden Valley" over the weekend looks on at a performance by Wild Torus (Photo: Nicole Disser)

An attendee of “The Hidden Valley” over the weekend looks on at a performance by Wild Torus (Photo: Nicole Disser)

If you’ve been to Wild Torus events before, it’s likely you know all about their marathon performance-art benders and messy parties. Guests are necessarily a part of the events involving immense creation and destruction within the same night (or 48-hour marathon). My first Torus encounter was a mind-jostling, brain-crushing, chaotic mess. It was a crush of humanity, all soaked in sweat, and stuck with gloopy, sticky materials, under an onslaught of hypnotic drumming, loud-as-hell discordant synth drone, and anything and everything you can imagine.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Back-to-School Tales, Sexperiences, and More Performance Picks

(image via Harvest Moon / Facebook)

(image via Harvest Moon / Facebook)

THURSDAY

Harvest Moon: A Freak-Folk Cabaret
Thursday, September 22 at The Wild Project, 8 pm: $10-20 sliding scale. 

Come ring in the soon-arriving autumn with this mystical evening of live art, from music and dance to film and fairytales and everything in between. A gaggle of artists based in Bushwick and beyond (some are regulars at Bizarre Bar staple Circus of Dreams, others frequent the nearby Tarot Society or Living Gallery) will assemble to bring you their artistic bounty. And it’ll be a bounty, all right– there are over 15 acts on the bill, including Jason Trachtenburg, Tarot Society’s Darcey Leonard, Omer Gal‘s music ensemble Cookie Tongue, and a Texas-themed Butoh troupe. If you’re pressed for time, you can just pop in for the second act at 9:30pm (there are two entry times) but all tickets earn you access to the whole shindig. The weather may get to the high eighties today, but fall is a-comin’. Eventually.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Performance Picks: Dominatrix Birthday, Hip-Hop Theater Party, Free Comedy

THURSDAY

(image via Kim Fatale / Facebook)

(image via Kim Fatale / Facebook)

XXX: Kim Fatale Turns 30
Thursday, September 8 at Bizarre Bushwick, 8 pm doors, 9 pm show: $5 suggested.
Dominatrix and performance artist Kim Fatale will be ringing in her third decade and entrance into the “age of desire,” and not just through any old birthday party. This will be a true show, with appearances from some of the city’s weirdest and wildest creators and performance artists, including Wild Torus (who I once saw perform running naked covered in goo), Jenna Kline (who I once saw with slabs of meat attached to her face, respectively), and Geraldo Mercado. Expect tunes from ski-bass-wielding burst of energy Borts Minorts, the “alluring and feminine” Huisi He, and the birthday star herself, in a performance made in collaboration with sound group SPREADERS. Roll on over to Bizarre and submit yourself to art.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Brooklyn’s Wildest Performance Artists Talk Lawsuits and New Beginnings

Wild Torus at the Torus_Porta last year (photo: Nicole Disser)

Brooklyn performance art duo Wild Torus are known for their wild, orgiastic, and messy shows, which often get the audience involved. They’ve always been a bit extreme, but found themselves in a situation that shocked even them when, in April, a performance art festival they did with Estonian performance collective Non Grata at East Williamsburg space The Paper Box was shut down mid-show without warning.

Mike Berlant (aka Vlady VØz Tokk, one half of Wild Torus along with Amy Mathis / Mág Ne Tá) recounted their experience on Facebook, in a post that was shared over 50 times and led to many in the surrounding arts community leaving bad reviews of the venue (including bad experiences some organizers had with other shows done there) and calling for it to be blacklisted. A month later, Wild Torus found themselves being sued by Paper Box for defamation and for “trashing” the space. They say they weren’t informed of the suit until the New York Post called them for comment for a piece they wrote about it.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Performance Picks: Western Wildness, 2-Year Anniversaries, Bits N’ Buddy Holly

WEDNESDAY

13988136_1102866186460185_81533974910017538_o

Wednesday With Westerns!
Wednesday August 24, 7 pm at City Reliquary; $7.
The City Reliquary, a tiny, quirky wonderland of a museum, will be the location for this western art party this evening. Gallop amongst NYC memorabilia, but don’t get too distracted, as there will be plenty to do on the frontier. Selections include the chance to get your own Wanted poster painted by artist Omer Gal, experimental Japanese movement genre butoh done with a Texas twist, line dancing, a hog-tying contest, theatrical happenings, ghostly songs, wandering Western characters, and surely much else. If you have the gall to come in a Western-themed costume (god forbid nobody mistake you for a lost Republican on the way there), you’ll be greeted with a free shot of tequila or whiskey. As the cow/boy creature on the poster proclaims so proudly, “Be a REAL cowboy like me!” Darn tootin’.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Performance Picks: Harsh Noise Videos IRL, LOL Sadism, and Theatre Ina Garden

THURSDAY

(via Housing Works)

(via Housing Works)

Loose: A Comedy Show
August 11, 7 pm at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe: $10. 

The always-effervescent Jo Firestone hosts this monthly evening of chuckles at the equally warmhearted Housing Works. But Firestone’s no ordinary comedy show host, no siree– she’s the brains behind ventures like Punderdome 3000, that oh-so-thrilling pun contest that’s either your worst nightmare or best dream come true.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Performance Picks: Dancing Comedians, Personhood Through Puns, Interactive Foreplay

WEDNESDAY
(via Facebook)

(via Facebook)

Nationals: An Amateur Adult Dance Comedy Tournament
At UCB Chelsea, 307 W 26th Street, Chelsea. 11pm. $5. More info here.
Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney host this four-month-long wild n’ wacky dance competition where the goal is not to dance in the prettiest way or for the longest time, but rather whose dancin’ feet make for the most chuckles. Sure, you can argue that many dance competitions run the risk of being unintentionally comedic already, but just imagine a dance competition where everything is supposed to be funny. Will there be technically skilled, tightly-crafted pieces using formal dance moves to inspire laughter? Probably not, because the teams are mostly made up of comedians. But you never know– there could be some surprises. Competitors include a team of two, a team of almost 10, and comedian Annie Donley (The Annoyance, SOAP’s Messy Backyard Show) going at it solo. And rest assured, whatever happens, a star WILL be born.

 

Keep Reading »

No Comments

After Seven Years, a Magical Series of City Walks Hangs Up Its Laces

This Is My Worst Nightmare by Becca Blackwell (photo: Eric McNatt)

This Is My Worst Nightmare by Becca Blackwell (photo: Eric McNatt)

In the city, or in any city, streets aren’t just streets, and building aren’t just buildings. There are histories stacked on top of each other, whether they be literal populations and businesses that come and go or more personal, emotional histories. A park or a street corner is going to mean something different to everyone.

For the past few years, Elastic City has striven to crystalize this feeling into something more tangible with its series of free artist-led participatory walks in New York City and beyond. These walks take small groups (usually 12 or less) on fictional, historical, emotional journeys, such as a reenactment of coming-of-age moments that occurred at the height of the West Village’s dyke bar culture, a singalong Annie tour, or renaming and imagining a neighborhood where immigrants are celebrated. Artists like scenic designer Mimi Lien (a winner of the MacArthur “Genius Grant”), performance artist Karen Finley, activist and urbanist Nisan Haymian, among many others, have created and led walks for the series.

Today, Elastic City will wrap up their walk series for good. I chatted with Elastic City founder Todd Shalom and his longtime collaborator (and Elastic City’s Associate Artistic Director) Niegel Smith in the time they had in between conducting walks. Today, for the last several times, they’ll lead the walk they’ve created together that will serve as a finale for the series. It’s called, fittingly, The Last Walk, and takes place in Prospect Park, beginning at Grand Army Plaza.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Performance Picks: Big Comedy, Garbage Theory, Punk Opera, Trump

(poster by Sisters Weekend)

(poster by Sisters Weekend)

WEDNESDAY

Sam’s BIG Day

At The Annoyance, 367 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg. 9:30pm. $5. More info here

You’ve seen him in serial “gay teen drama” Lake Homo High, as the co-host of Live On Broadgay, and maybe even being named one of Brooklyn Mag’s 50 Funniest People, but this time Sam Taggart is all on his own. Yes, it’s a show just for him, packed full and big with sketches, characters, videos, standup, and some surprises, too. However, no solo show is complete without special guests, and you better believe he’s got those too, in the form of Mary Houlihan, Sisters Weekend, and maybe even more. It’s a big day, after all. I can only hope they’re able to fit such a big day in one theater!

THURSDAY

(image via GG Nix / Facebook)

(image via GG Nix / Facebook)

Lost Abjects: Theory of Garbage

At G.G. NiX, 1339 Dekalb Ave, Bushwick. 7pm. More info here

Kalan Sherrard, the mind behind “Beat Up Trump” among other creations who we spoke with a few months ago, will be presenting this evening at vintage shop G.G. NiX. It’s part multimedia installation, part performance, part lecture, part workshop. Billed as “An Installation and Physical Manifesto Against Recycling,” it’ll feature a spread of works created by Sherrard, including his miniature art galleries (so small you have to look through a magnifying glass to view them), a “post-structural striptease,” and sculptures crafted from gum and fingernails. There will also be a game of Giant Nihilist Tetris, but don’t worry, it is optional.

FRIDAY

(image via Facebook)

(image via Facebook)

Brett Davis and Nick Naney’s Disney’s Aladdin

At Over the Eight, 594 Union Ave, Williamsburg. 8pm. More info here

Everyone loves Aladdin. But what about a live version of Aladdin adapted by two comedians? If that piques your interest, Brett Davis (of The Special Without Brett Davis) and Nick Naney (who has also appeared on that show) have got just the thing for you. The cast features Bardia Salimi as the titular hero, Mitra Jouhari of Three Busy Debras as Jasmine, Brett Davis as Jafar, Nick Naney as the Genie, and even Steph Cook as the rug. This may be the only time you’ll see a human carpet outside of a fetish party, folks, so get to it.

SATURDAY

(image via La MaMa)

(image via La MaMa)

Baby Fat Act 1: A Screeching Weasel Rock Opera

At La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theater, 66 E 4th Street, East Village. 7pm and 10pm. Tickets are $15. Also on July 21 and 22 and 8pm. More info here

Some people like opera, but it’s safe to say it isn’t for everyone. For those who aren’t particularly drawn to long dresses and vibrato, this might do the trick. La MaMa has partnered with Columbia Stages to bring you this world premiere that’s based on Verdi’s opera Rigoletto but written by Ben Weasel, the frontman of punk band Screeching Weasel. The original opera centers around a hunchbacked court jester who’s daughter falls in love with the very Duke he mercilessly mocks, but in this show there is a rock club called The Reptile House with their house band named Serpentello and the dubious and nefarious presence of what may be an inescapable vortex. So like, basically the same thing.

SUNDAY

(photo via tdf)

(photo via tdf)

The Trump Card

At Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, East Village. 6:30pm. Tickets are $35. Also on August 28. More info here.

Solo performer and monologist Mike Daisey (also behind popular and controversial work The Agony and The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs) presents this new solo work about the one and only D. J. T., breaking down the inner workings of this bizarre and rich man while also weaving a tale of oligarchy’s rise in America along the way. The result is sure to be intriguing, compelling, and ultimately will, I’m assuming, leave you depressed about the state of the world and its possible future.  The show’s currently sold out, but a waitlist will be available when the box office opens.

No Comments

Performance Picks: Muskrats, Menstruation, And a Trip to Jupiter

(image via New Ohio Theater)

(image via New Ohio Theater)

WEDNESDAY

The Annotated History of the American Muskrat
Continues through July 16 at the New Ohio Theater, 154 Christopher Street, West Village. 7pm. Tickets are $18 ($15 students/seniors). More info here.
Originally developed in Boston, this play-slash-experiment was written by John Kuntz in collaboration with the show’s original cast of performers, and now will have a short run as part of the New Ohio Theater’s annual Ice Factory Festival. It follows a group of 8 people who must prepare and give a presentation about muskrats if they would ever like to sleep. American muskrats, specifically. Yes, these guys. Will you learn a lot about the muskrat? Will you learn anything at all? Is this really happening to these people or is it all some sort of wild rodent dream? Find out all this and more at the theater…

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Latest Bushwick Art Fair Is a Bit of a Circus

(Photo: @bushwickopen)

(Photo: @bushwickopen)

Since it was announced that Bushwick Open Studios will be taking place in October and not on their usual summer date, a couple fledgling fests have tried to fill the void. There’s been the Bushwick Arts Festival, which was a bit of a letdown, and the Bushwick Galleries Association’s Hot Summer Nights of extended hours, which are great but for galleries only. So when we heard tell of a new Bushwick art festival called the Bushwick Open Art Fair, we were skeptical. What would make their “Bears on Bicycles”-themed fair different from the other upstarts? But then the organizers told us they’re “currently looking into the permits required to have live animals at the show.”

Keep Reading »

No Comments

‘Humping a Gatorade Bottle’ and More Performance to Quench Your Thirst

(image via Facebook)

(image via Facebook)

WEDNESDAY

Erin Markey: Humping A Gatorade Bottle
At The Duplex, 61 Christopher Street, West Village. 9:30pm. $15 plus a two drink minimum. More info here
Performance artist/comedian/writer/singer/actress/my friend Erin Markey is always a pleasure to watch onstage. Her cabaret shows at The Duplex and Joe’s Pub are full of strange and compelling life stories, odd characters, impressive voice work, jokes you might not realize are hilarious until five seconds after they’re told, and some very nice singing. This show, with the truly memorable subtitle of Humping a Gatorade Bottle, is sure to be no less wonderful and intriguing, in addition to being a “heartwarming crossfit program.” Now that’s what I call one-stop shopping.

Keep Reading »