The display Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s photographs. (Photo by Diego Lynch)
The New Museum is taking a deep dive into the role of gender in contemporary art. With an emphasis on the word “contemporary.”
The vast majority of “Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon,” opening today, consists of pieces from after 2010, with a sizable contingent from this year. The exhibit was curated with the goal of creating a snapshot of the current moment of “political upheaval and renewed culture wars,” a seeming reference to the increased prevalence of right-wing populism.
‘Soundlessness,’ 2016 (Courtesy of Lorna Simpson and Salon 94
Lorna Simpson is returning to Salon 94 for her third exhibition at the Bowery gallery. The Brooklyn-born artist became well-known in the mid-’80s for her large-scale works combining photography and textual elements with watercolor, ink, or acrylic paint, and creating nuanced statements on contemporary society’s perception of race, gender, and identity. Her show at Salon 94, opening September 8, will feature a number of paintings that premiered in the 55th Venice Biennale.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the East Village in the 90s? Junkies passed out on Avenue A while runaway kids hung out in squats on St. Marks? CBGB and other classic punk bars still going hard, only to be priced out of their leases less than a decade later? Punk heads and artists sharing studios in derelict tenements? For Tim Murphy, the New York-based journalist and author of the new novel Christodora, it was all of these things, but above all it was the home for a community of diverse people from different backgrounds, sexual orientations, and experiences who were searching for a place that would accept them just as they are.
As a young man who arrived to the city in 1991, the East Village represented a haven for an alternative gay scene that was way less polished and more grungy than the one in Chelsea and the West Village. “Courtney Love was the patron saint of the gay East Village in the ’90s,” Murphy told us with a laugh.
Margo Jefferson and Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah August 23, 7pm at Strand Bookstore, 828 Broadway at 12th Street.
Margo Jefferson’s acclaimed memoir Negroland, which The New York Times called “powerful and complicated,” explores her upper middle class childhood growing up in the 1940s, 50s, and early 60s while deftly avoiding racial and socioeconomic landmines. She deftly describes the racial identity politics inherent in her community’s attempt to be considered the exception to how other blacks were viewed by the white elite of her Chicago milieu. In order to celebrate the release of the memoir’s paperback edition, Jefferson will be joined by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, a New York Times Magazine contributor and essayist whose writing has appeared in The Paris Review, The Believer, Bookforum, and more.
“Honestly, I just wanted a festival and to throw a big party,” says Coree Spencer of her forthcoming Cinder Block Comedy Festival. As lighthearted as that seems, Spencer organized the festival on her terms in order to challenge the ongoing status quo in the comedy world.
Pokémon Go’s in full swing and fall fashion is flashing right back to where it’s been for a while now: disaffected stares, tattoo chokers, clunky Doc Marten oxfords in every shade of the Windows 95 color palette, and disused flannels fashioned into something that can only be understood as a waist-tie. So one can safely say the ’90s are still making a comeback, as the decade continues to fascinate twenty-somethings who probably don’t even remember the OJ Simpson Trial and are only pretending to understand Ren & Stimpy references. But now all these ’90s-culture appropriators will have an opportunity to really feel what it was like to be a kid with dial-up internet and a pocket full of Bubble Tape– with the opening of Brooklyn Pogs.
“Untitled Self Portrait with Banana Cream Pie” (Courtesy of Joe Nanashe)
Do you like art that grapples with how artificial our culture has become? Even better– would you like to see the art crowd in Bushwick confronted with a portrayal of American hipster contradiction? If so, you’re in luck. Because this September, Joe Nanashe, a conceptual artist who sorta fits that bill himself as an Ohio-born transplant now based in New York, is debuting his solo show American Vanitas at Bushwick’s Victori + Mo gallery this September.
Alt Citizen, the Brooklyn-based music and arts blog-cum-zine, found permanence last year with the opening of their storefront and gallery Alt Space, a “very well-curated concept store,” as editor-in-chief and founder Nasa Hadizadeh told us last year, with sundry items such as zines, clothing, vinyl, tapes, art prints, and posters available for gawking and purchasing.
But when Nasa realized that a month’s worth rent at the brick-and-mortar could buy her a baby blue short bus and a road trip across the country, the Alt crew took off for greener, less wintery pastures. Now it seems Nasa’s got the travel itch again. The Alt kids are back on the move with “Sweet Like Honey,” a mini music and gallery tour which kicks off at IDIO Gallery in New York before moving on to LA.
Secret Loft, your go-to stop for sort-of secret dance parties, comedy shows, and concerts, has finally moved out of their Bushwick location at the McKibbin Lofts. In order to celebrate their move to another, as of yet undisclosed location, co-organizers Chris Carr and Alex Neuhausen threw one last massive bash this past Saturday to send the old space off in style.
Carr, who founded Brooklyn Wildlife, an events platform that showcases local artists and performers, said that he and Neuhausen had decided to move on from the McKibbin Lofts after setting up residence there for over three years. “It was basically time, in terms of growth and having a place that’s more accommodating of our long-term goals,” he explained. “All of us are more interested in having a more stable way to have mixed events. At some point you need an actual venue, a commercially viable space where you can have four, five loud events a week.”
Yes, the last month of summer is finally be upon us, but there’s no putting a chill on the boozy, breezy, time-honored tradition of summer film festivals. On August 27 and 28 at Nitehawk Cinema, the SHORTS fest will offer up some 12 to 13 short films per day– all of which aim to take a more varied, surreal, and experimental approach to comedy.
(Photo: Courtesy of Kickstarter)
The full line-up of films, selected by the Brooklyn Comedy Festival and Kickstarter, can be found here. Promising picks include Sunday’s Greener Grass, a “dark comedy of manners” directed by Paul Briganti, in which two soccer moms go above and beyond to fit into their cookie-cutter suburban surroundings.
Then there’s Bridey Elliott’s Affection, which is “a comedy about isolation and loneliness” (well then!). Elliot (of Fort Tilden fame) has always had a penchant for exploring unlikeable women while still capturing their nuanced humanity, something she talked about with Bedford + Bowery a couple of years ago (in addition to the ever-relevant topic of dick picks and other sundry affairs).
(Photo: Courtesy of Kickstarter)
Another promising entry is the New York-centric Jana & Shasta, directed by Tynan Delong, about a naïve, hapless Florida couple making their first trip to the big city after winning round-trip bus tickets on a radio contest. As you might expect, hilarity ensues.
And because comedy (or anything for that matter) is best enjoyed with some booze, Nitehawk will be serving its weekend brunch menu alongside the screenings, with a $15 entree and mimosa or Bloody Mary option to upgrade the giggle-fest.
SHORTS will be wrapping up the The Brooklyn Comedy Festival, which takes place August 22 to 28. And in case you need another reason to get some laughs in during the last month before September hits, Nitehawk will be launching the last month of the Comedians in Film series, which started in June and which finishes up with SHORTS. Other highlights during the series run include Women in Comedy (including Obvious Child and She-Devil) and Late Night, which features raunchy classics such as the 1983 flick Easy Money.
Correction: An earlier version of this post mistakenly identified that Nitehawk’s Comedians in Film starts in August, when it actually started in June.