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Art This Week: Cinema of Transgression and Outdoor Oddities

Image: Other Wise from “Mirror Mirror, Daylight Cinema” at The Old Shul for Social Sculpture, Tessa Hughes-Freeland.

Passed and Present
Opening Thursday, October 17 at Howl! Happening, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through November 17.

One of the pioneers of the Cinema of Transgression—an New York-based underground movement active in the 80’s that focused on low-budget subversion—was Tessa Hughes-Freeland, an experimental filmmaker who utilized psychedelic, kaleidoscopic visuals in her work, as well as found footage. This exhibition at East Village space Howl Happening acts as a “cinematic survey” of her work, featuring sculptures, videos, and an “interactive kaleidoscope.” Beyond the opening reception, there will be several special events throughout the course of the show, including film screenings and filmmaking workshops led by Hughes-Freeland herself.

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Canary Club Jazzes Up The Lower East Side

(photo: Heidi’s Bridge)

While you still can’t (legally) drink on the street, the Lower East Side is about to feel a little more like New Orleans now that it has Canary Club. The Broome Street restaurant, bar, and live music spot opened its doors this week, serving up French Creole-inspired dishes, creative cocktails, and tunes ranging from jazz to disco. More →

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Performance Picks: MCR Burlesque and Indoor-Outdoor Comedy

THURSDAY

Not Straight Not White
Thursday, October 10 at 132 W 21st Street, 7 pm: FREE

At this trio show, audiences get the best of three worlds. There’s photography, there’s sculpture, and there’s performance, and it’s all created by young artists (Patrick Arias, Jinyong Choi, and Garrett Allen) who are, as the title suggests, neither straight nor white. To those deeply enmeshed in inclusive, queer, nightlife-y worlds, this may not seem like the most revolutionary thing (though I’d advise taking a closer look at those scenes to see how consistently diverse they really are), but recall that it was a mere two days ago that the Supreme Court was contemplating queer and trans people’s right to hold a job without the constant fear of being fired simply for who they are. Not Straight Not White acknowledges these tumultuous times and attempts to imagine a better future, one where the marginalized take back the power.

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Art This Week: Pastels, Flowers, and Queer Abstraction

(image via Equity Gallery / Facebook)

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
Opening Wednesday, October 9 at Equity Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through November 2.

There are plenty of exhibitions nowadays that spotlight creations by queer artists of present and past, but this show at Equity Gallery organized by critics and curators Christopher Stout and Eric Sutphin narrows its focus even more to zero in on what they call “queer abstraction.” Deeming the exhibition a “visual essay,” it (and the six artists participating) aims to explore how the subgenre has been showcased both locally and abroad, and the power (or lack thereof) of abstract art that doesn’t have an overt political statement to it.

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Prelude Festival, A Queer Sabrina Cabaret, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(image via Prelude NYC / Facebook)

Prelude 2019: Riotous Excursions
October 3-5 at Martin E. Segal Theater Center, various times: FREE

Free theater, performance art, panels and more abound at this year’s Prelude Festival, a celebration of contemporary theater and performance that’s curated this year by Sanaz Ghajar and David Bruin. The festival largely presents works (or excerpts of works) that are still being developed: highlights include a “music-video-electronic-sample-remix-opera,” a “dream party” assembled by playwright Jaclyn Backhaus, a meditation on intimacy using cello and poetry, and a madcap think tank creation by Bailey Williams, Derek Smith, and Alex Rodabaugh. There will also be “studio visits” (live performance excerpts followed by critical responses) and panels exploring activist art and creation in the age of late capitalism.

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Ridgewood Gets An Evil Twin At Last

(photo: Caroline Lethbridge)

The Bushwick-Ridgewood border is about to get evil in the best way, as Copenhagen-born, Brooklyn-based Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø’s Evil Twin Brewing is finally opening their taproom and beer garden, located on George Street steps from the Halsey L stop. The opening comes—in typical New York fashion—after several years of delays and anticipation, but the brewery’s taproom will officially be ready for boozing on Wednesday, October 2.

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Ridgewood Open Studios, Satellite Fair, and More Art This Week

(image via Satellite Art Show / Facebook, pictured artwork by Julia Sinelnikova)

Satellite Art Fair
Opening Thursday, October 3 at 630 Flushing Avenue, 5 pm to midnight. On view through October 6. Tickets $10 for one day, $15 for the week.

Art fairs have a bit of a reputation. Namely, they’re associated with the types of people with enough money to buy expensive art (and who can take a break from their jobs to browse for it). The Satellite Art Fair strives to break from this model, offering an experience that’s less about the money and more about the artists, with a focus on the independent and experimental. Also, it’s in one of the most unique structures currently housing art: the Pfizer Building on Flushing Avenue, a huge mazelike place that used to be a pill factory and that currently also provides space for anything from food businesses to music studios. From Thursday to Sunday, it’ll be filled with art and performance from Satellite’s roster of 40+ creators from around the country.

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Performance Picks: Comedy, Birthdays, and Competitions

THURSDAY

(image via The Flea Theater / Facebook)

The Sandalwood Box and The Fez
Now through November 1 at The Flea Theater, 7 pm (some shows at 3 pm or 4 pm): $15+ ($10 student rush tickets available 10 minutes before curtain, subject to availability)

The latest offering in experimental playwright Mac Wellman’s theatrical, political, and often-surreal bonanza at The Flea is actually two plays in one. The first, The Sandalwood Box, follows a woman seeking speech therapy after losing her voice who meets a mysterious professor able to contain “captivating catastrophes” inside of (you guessed it) a box made of sandalwood. The Fez deals in even more abstract terms, with the summary simply stating “The charmed spell of the theater has somehow absented itself, and something strange happens. A play that was originally printed on a tee shirt is finally produced!” 

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Art This Week: Questioning Borders and a Brazzers Collaboration

(image via The Lower Eastside Girls Club)

Love No Border: An Artist’s Call for Action
Opening Monday, September 23 at the Lower Eastside Girls Club, 6 pm. On view through November 30.

It’s always been common for art to intersect with buzzy political topics, for better for for worse. Of course, not everyone is just trying to capitalize on the latest news item; some artists have more noble intentions. One show that fits more into this category is Love No Border, a group show at the Lower Eastside Girls Club featuring artists from New York, Guatemala, Mexico, and New Orleans who are “questioning the value of borders in 21st century society.” The show includes a wide variety of artistic disciplines—from a sculpture of stuffed toys referencing ICE to a contribution by performance art activist group Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir—and there will be events throughout the run of the show to raise funds for immigrant aid organizations. 

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Performance Picks: Slumber Parties and Riverdale Burlesque

THURSDAY

(image via Arti G. / Facebook)

Boys I’ve Kissed and Hated: Slumber Party
Thursday, September 19 at Max Fish, 7 pm: $10

Sure, 7 pm is a little early for a slumber party, but this isn’t any ordinary slumber party. It commemorates comedian and writer Arti Gollapudi’s new book of poetry, Boys I’ve Kissed and Hated. Don your coziest outfit (it’s getting to be that time of year, after all) and enjoy some snacks and drinks as well as tarot readings and a photo booth, so you can capture the current moment and find out what’s in store for your future. And of course, this is a show, so there will also be performance by Gollapudi and Sadie Dupuis (of the bands Speedy Ortiz and sad13). Just try not to actually fall asleep there once the fun has wrapped up.

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