The emailed instructions, addressed to Cosmonauts of Narrative, said to look for the man in the red fez, which was easy enough, but his directions were more complex. “Take a left out of the bar and click to the next slide every half block,” participants in the night’s Constellations of Ego event were told as we were handed View-Masters and sent out of Bed Stuy’s cozy Project Parlor and into the misty evening. If correctly interpreted, the retro-formatted clues led to the side entrance of a kosher supermarket. Homemade stick-and-gauze-wrapped stars were handed out to all by an eye-patched organizer in the unremarkable entryway before we were sent skyward, the journey upwards guided by a fleet of golden lamps hung in the space between the rails. On the roof, circles formed around electric campfires and the storytellers started in.
Pussy Riot launched their US tour at Bushwick’s Elsewhere last Thursday night with a bold display of their actionist performance art. Summoning the energy of a protest rally, Pussy Riot’s co-founder Nadya Tolokonnikova led her fellow balaclava-clad DJ and dancers through a foray of their videos and songs that were strewn with their activist goals. Opener Dorian Electra also fed that spirit; with prominent figures of equality in attendance such as artist Marina Abramovic and Bust magazine co-founder Laurie Henzel, the show became much more than a concert.
May 16-June 3 at The Bushwick Starr, 8 pm: $20-25
Singlet, the new show from the singular (get it, singular sounds like “singlet”) mind of performance and cabaret artist Erin Markey is about wrestling, yes, but it is also about so much more. That’s not a metaphor or anything; this show about friendship and rivalry takes its inspiration from everyone’s favorite performative form of consensual violence involving spandex and rings, but also Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, Precious Moments collectible dolls, Jean Genet’s The Maids (aka one of the plays everyone directed scenes from in theater school to be edgy), couples counseling podcasts, and a myriad more references I may never fully comprehend, tbh. Markey will be performing alongside frequent collaborator Emily Davis, and I wouldn’t be surprised if tickets sell out soon, so as the teens say, hop to it.
Last month we shared news that Elsewhere was opening up its rooftop for summer concerts, DJ parties, happy hours, film screenings, and food pop-ups. Now the good folks over at East Williamsburg’s newest venue have sent over some photos of the roof, along with some more details about what to expect.
This Alien Nation
Wednesday, May 9 at Joe’s Pub, 7 pm: $20 advance, $25 doors
It would take a lot of willful ignorance not to see that living as an immigrant in Trump’s America (or even in Obama’s) can be an experience fraught with anxiety, fear, and a sense of disappointment in a large portion of humanity. But for all the cruel, discriminatory people out there, there are others who make a point of giving immigrants a platform to tell their own stories and maybe even get paid for it. Sofija Stefanovic’s This Alien Nation is one such show, providing a monthly space for some of their “favorite outsiders” to show an audience whatever it is they do best. This month, guest hosted by Abeer Hoque, features storyteller Mansoor Basha, poet and drag performer Wo Chan, comedian Ana Fabrega, journalist and author Aatish Taseer, performer and filmmaker Angel Yau, and musician Amalia Watty. More →
Salsa Soul Sisters: Honoring Lesbians of Color
Opening Wednesday, May 9 at EFA Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, 6 pm. On view through June 29.
There are only a paltry handful of lesbian-specific spaces left in the city, but many initiatives exist to inform of the bars, venues, and collectives that make up lesbian and queer history in the city and beyond. The Lesbian Herstory Archives in collaboration with EFA will be presenting an archival exhibition that shines a light on the Salsa Soul Sisters, a collective of lesbian and bisexual Black, Latina, Indigenous, and Asian-American women founded in NYC in 1976. If you can’t make the opening reception on Wednesday, there will be a panel discussion and open mic on June 1 and a closing reception on June 29. More →
After announcing its closure in March, Silent Barn said goodbye on Sunday night with a concert aptly named Last Rites. The all-night event included a line-up of house favorites and a back-room dance party where the partitioned workspaces had been demolished ahead of the collectively-run Bushwick venue’s departure. Though it survived the loss of its previous space, a fire in the new one and constant financial issues, Silent Barn had soldiered on inside its bright, muraled collection of buildings on a tiny trianglular city block. Local youth community group Educated Little Monsters, which was housed there, had hoped to take over the lease with the help of a recent fundraiser but as ELM founder Yazmine “Jazo Brooklyn” Colon told us, “the landlord would not negotiate even though were under the impression he would.”
Hot on the heels of rooftop programming announcements from Output and Our Wicked Lady, East Williamsburg venue Elsewhere just dropped the lineup for its own rooftop, which will open for the first time on Memorial Day weekend. The club, which opened in November and may or may not have an orgasmic stage, is promising rooftop “happy hours, frozen drinks, local DJs, art programming, weekend food pop-ups, and much more.”
If you’re even slightly interested in skincare, it would be hard to ignore the current popularity of K-beauty, or Korean cosmetics and skincare products such as sheet masks, serums, and snail-slime face creams. Many of these products contain lactic acid, an organic compound that’s also used in fermentation and produced by the body. For her solo show at Silent Barn’s Disclaimer Gallery, artist Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin has delved into this multi-use microbe both figuratively and literally, investigating its presence in beauty, bodies, and Korean identity by making her own lactic acid skincare products. More →
Opening Thursday, April 26 at The Living Gallery, 7 pm to 11 pm. One night only.
Sometimes you want to go to a Chelsea gallery to silently stare at art alongside a bunch of people who probably have more money than you, and sometimes you want to stay in Bushwick and see some art while a local trans punk band plays. You can do the latter on Thursday at The Living Gallery (which just celebrated its sixth anniversary) at Neu Show, a showcase of nine local underground photographers, painters, experimental mixed-media artists, graphic artists, and more, with live tunes from local punk outfit Library and tracks from DJ Drew Redmond to keep the mood nice and energized. There is a $5 cover at the door, but the show is a mere one night only, and these artists need to be supported somehow. More →