You Are Under Our Space Control Now through February 2 at La MaMa, 8 pm (some shows at 5 pm): $25 ($20 students/seniors)
These days, sci-fi tales feel closer and closer to reality, and performance group Object Collection knows this well. Their latest music-laden offering at La MaMa, You Are Under Our Space Control, draws from a mixed bag of scientific fact and outer space lore that includes Afrofuturist Sun Ra, campy sci-fi director Cy Roth, and experimental composer John Cage, whose unconventional tactics sometimes included star charts. The group uses video, eccentric props, soundscapes, and text to spin a tale of a depleted Earth and the hopes of a socialist future in space, which is starting to sound more familiar by the day.
Puffy Opening Wednesday, January 22 at Fort Makers, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through March 11.
Usually you can’t touch the art, but starting this Wednesday at Orchard Street space and art collective Fort Makers, you can not only touch it, but rearrange it to your liking. Puffy, organized by Naomi S. Clark, Noah James Spencer, and Nana Spears, transforms the space into a colorful playground of pillows and canvas ready to be grabbed, hugged, and strewn about. If you’re still finding yourself in the clutches of seasonal depression, perhaps an afternoon getting in touch with your inner child (while also engaging in art, of course) could help.
Some show titles are abstract and obscure; some tell you all you need to know. A Late Night Show That is Also Live falls squarely into the latter camp. But while its name offers no surprises, it will surely be an evening full of them. This is not your average late night experience: host Meghan Strickland will not only be interviewing fellow comedians, but also giving them challenges to complete. And knowing the madcap stuff that comes out of the BCC, that could truly mean anything. Tonight’s guests include Nick Naney, Maya Sharma, Lucyana Randall, and Jessy Morner-Ritt.
stain begins to absorb the material spilled on Opening Thursday, January 16 at Doosan Gallery New York, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through February 15.
This “lab” exhibition by artists Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin and Jesse Chun is an intellectual and sensorial treat, offering much to see, hear, ponder, and even smell. The show focuses on the curious relationship between language and digestion, with each artist centering their work around one of these two components. Chun unpacks and deconstructs language’s ability to “render one readable as a subject,” from the ubiquitous presence of English to the power of official written documents, while Shin (who also has an ongoing session at Recess) utilizes ancient Korean vases used for fermentation to explore the theoretical and literal vitrification (the process of a substance becoming glasslike) that occurs in conjunction with Westernization.
Under the Radar Festival Now through January 19 at The Public Theater, various times, $25+.
What do Laurie Anderson, prize-winning playwright Aleshea Harris, and multiple stories about the moon have in common? They’re all part of The Public Theater’s 16th annual Under the Radar Festival, the long-running celebration of innovative performance work from around the world and one of the biggest signifiers that January’s theater festival season is upon us once again. This year, they’re presenting 12 theater pieces, four concerts, six works-in-progress, and several parties. Highlights include Selina Thompson’s pice inspired by a trip retracing a Transatlantic Slave Triangle route, Back to Back Theater’s exploration of disability and an AI-dominated future, and the aforementioned moon tales: one of virtual reality by Laurie Anderson and Hsin-Chien Huan, one of desire on the West Bank by Palestine’s Remote Theater Project.
Comfort Opening Thursday, January 89 at Friedman Benda, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through January 15.
Everyone has a different definition of comfort. Your grandfather’s old and cigarette-scented armchair might feel like home to you but cause another person to wrinkle their nose in disgust. Curator Omar Sosa’s latest show at Friedman Benda focuses on the harmonies and contradictions inherent in items, particularly pieces of furniture and design, meant to bring comfort in one way or another. As this is an art exhibition and not a furniture showroom, comfort is usually interpreted quite creatively—think a boxy bookshelf that leans but never falls, a sculpture entitled “Toilet Sink,” and a colorful blanket meant for a pair.
Where Are We Now Now through December 21 at La MaMa, 8:30 pm: $26 ($21 students/seniors)
Even though he’s not physically with us anymore, the spirit of David Bowie lives on through the musician’s storied legacy and acclaimed, sparkling body of work. All over, people are having Bowie-centric dance parties, Bowie-themed burlesque shows, and other tributes within the realm of nightlife. The latest of these you can catch is in the form of Dutch-German cabaret performer Sven Ratzke’s Where Are We Now, an intimate evening of storytelling and Bowie’s music, arranged simply for piano and voice. Ratzke has received international acclaim for his performances over the years, with particular attention given to his ability to seemingly transform into the Starman himself.
An Evening With Muses Opening Wednesday, December 18 at Ace Hotel New York, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 20.
Whether it’s a ticketed drink and draw event, a university art class, or a 1-on-1 arrangement, the IRL relationship between artist and model is alive and well these days, though it’s still usually more of a private affair. But on Wednesday, art models Najee and Ume will take to the Ace Hotel to pull back the curtain for all to see with the exhibition An Evening With Muses, which is based on a live drawing series they held at The Ace’s restaurant. On view will be work created in those live sessions, showcasing the many different ways that artist can represent muse. And to show you how it all happens, there will also be a live drawing presentation.
SadBoyClub Thursday, December 12 at The Deep End, 7:30 pm: $10 suggested donation
Lana del Rey talked about summertime sadness, but we all know that wintertime is when the blues truly come to stay a while. Though sure, the initial shock of seasonal depression is starting to wane a bit, it’s still dark and cold all the time. Rather than isolating yourself, bond with other bleak-minded folk who just happen to be talented performers at SadBoyClub, a “queer and weird” variety show at The Deep End in Ridgewood. Your $10 suggested donation gets you a cornucopia of drag, burlesque, sideshow, circus, and other surprises.
Like it or not, holiday shopping season is upon us. Sure, you can go to big-name stores or fight your way through the Union Square holiday market, but there are plenty of other ways to find meaningful gifts. Here are 11 unique pop-up shops and holiday markets to peruse, where you can find something special while supporting alternative and marginalized makers at the same time.