John Driscoll (image via Fridman Gallery / Facebook)

Slight Perturbations / The Weight of Things
Opening Wednesday, January 16 at Fridman Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through February 13.

Fridman Gallery’s new space on Bowery has two levels, upper and lower. Fittingly, there will be two exhibitions opening there this Wednesday: a show of of interactive sound sculptures by John Driscoll in the upper space, and a two-channel video installation by Dana Levy centered around the Palace of Versailles in the lower space. Driscoll’s sculptures resemble hodgepodge collections of found objects or avant-garde furniture pieces crossed with a science fair, but they’re much more than something to puzzle over: they contain minuscule microphones and speakers, and a “reflective foil” that creates sound with help from whatever objects are nearby. And though it’s in the lower level, Levy’s video work deals with the upper crust of Versailles, depicting the palace’s contents steadily crumbling due to an earthquake.

Détourned
Opening Wednesday, January 16 at ABXY LES, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through March 10.

Former private art world haven turned public gallery space Abxy will be opening a solo show of works by Melvin “Grave” Guzman, a multimedia artist from Harlem who predominantly utilizes found objects in his work. The objects aren’t just any old thing sitting in the street; they’re typically remnants of city life: posters, ticket stubs, ads, sometimes even entire awnings. They’re then arranged collage-style and modified with paint, typically from a spray can. While sure, this work shares a sensibility with the scrawled-on subway ads you see on the daily, it also feels like a lot more than that.

(image via Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery / Facebook)

I Can’t Sleep: Homage to a Uyghur Homeland
Opening Thursday, January 17 at Miyako Yoshinaga, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through February 23. 

Americans dropping into a far-off land to document (and often exoticize) the cultures that exist there is still a common practice today. Artist Lisa Ross, however, has been familiarizing herself with the Chinese region of Xinjiang for over a decade. Xinjiang is home to the Uyghur people, an ethnic minority that has been experiencing what some call a “cultural genocide” at the hands of the Chinese government, including mysterious disappearances and detainment. Ross’s portraits of Uyghur individuals don’t amplify and exploit the trauma they’ve endured for a Western audience, but rather portray colorfully-dressed people of all ages sitting, laying, or playing on a variety of outdoor beds. However, hanging behind these photos is a backdrop of the artist’s Uyghur friend, who has also recently disappeared, serving as a reminder of the troubles that persist.