Jan Palach Memorial at Cooper Union (Photo: Anaka Kaundinya)
Cube, meet spikes.
The Alamo returned in November and now another piece of monumental art is being installed outside of Cooper Union’s Foundation Building. The sculpture, a nine-foot-by-nine-foot cube with spikes mounted on top, is by John Hejduk, an artist, architect and former Dean Emeritus of Cooper Union.
Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed to fight back against Donald Trump’s harshest and most regressive plans this morning at a speech in the East Village. All of the nearly 1,000 seats in Cooper Union’s Great Hall were full by 11am, and the crowd was ready to laugh when Ann Mansfield joked about the lack of job prospects for out-lesbian Protestants. She thanked New York for giving her the opportunity to serve as a FDNY chaplain and spoke about the importance of creating an environment where others are also able to “rise up and have their dream job.”
Nkiruka J. Oparah, study n° 080415, 2015, digital collage (image via BRIC)
BRIC Biennial: Volume II, Bed Stuy / Crown Heights Opening Wednesday, November 9 at BRIC, 7 pm to 9 pm. On view through January 15.
BRIC’s largest exhibition to date is centered at Downtown Brooklyn’s BRIC House but also taking place in portions of Crown Heights’s FiveMyles, the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Weeksville Heritage Center. The show’s sprawling spread reflects the artists represented in the show, as all 40 are local to Crown Heights and Bed Stuy. The theme for the exhibit is “Affective Bodies,” placing a focus on “bodily experience rather than on learned knowledge,” a somewhat subversive move in the world of art exhibits, as so many are grounded in theory, explained using highly academic terms, and/or featuring high-class educated folks. Each non-BRIC venue will showcase a different sort of work: Weeksville Heritage artists are focused on the “emotional resonance” people give urban spaces, the Brooklyn Public Library artists use preexisting documents as their source material to create new works, and FiveMyles will focus on performance art. More →
The Rent Guidelines Board has voted to freeze the rents on rent-stabilized apartments that are up for a one-year lease renewal between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017, and has agreed on a 2-percent increase for two-year leases. It’s the second year in a row that one-year leases will not face a rent increase– a move that had previously been unprecedented in the 47-year history of the board. More →
Everyone has a St. Marks story — my first was smoking free hash after getting ripped off on bunk X. “And since the middle of the twentieth century, kids from all over the country, and the world, who wanted to be writers or artists or do drugs have come to St. Marks Place to find one another and themselves.” So says St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America’s Coolest Street, the dizzyingly fascinating mostly-oral history by Ada Calhoun, which launches Monday, Nov. 2, at Cooper Union with free beer from Brooklyn Brewery and a punk cover band—the St. Marks Zeroes—featuring Ad-Rock.
History buffs, take note: Battle Lines is not your ordinary Civil War read. This books is a team effort by graphic novelist Jonathan Fetter-Vorm and award-winning historian Ari Kelman, and it’s sweeping, full-color panoramas combined with Kelman’s nuanced understand of the period provide a whole new perspective on the topic. The authors will talk about the book with acclaimed graphic novelist Josh Neufeld (A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge) accompanied by images from Battle Lines on Greenlight’s big screen. Monday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m. Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton Street (Fort Greene).
As we get ready to watch Kate Bolick read from Spinster, “a revelatory and slyly erudite look at the pleasures and possibilities of remaining single,”tonight at 20 Cooper Square (6-8 p.m.), here’s a selection of other feminist-esque literary happenings this week. There are talks from a social critic and women’s rights advocate, an outspoken actress/poet, the folks at The Feminist Press, and of course there’s a modern take on Jane Eyre. All that and more, straight ahead.
After months of hiding inside of a wooden box while his eponymous triangle was rebuilt, Peter Cooper has come out to smell the roses (or to smell a rat, depending who you ask). The Stanford White-designed statue, dedicated in 1897, was boxed up for its own protection last April but has now reemerged, even as the redesign of Peter Cooper Triangle continues around it. Meanwhile, over on Astor Place, construction of Alamo Plaza seems to have stalled, and it may be a while before we see the Astor Place cube again.
District Leader Anthony Anthony Feliciano addresses the crowd. (Photo: Jaime Cone)
Mayor de Blasio received an unusual gift on Three King’s Day when picketers gathered outside City Hall to protest the loss of a beloved East Ninth Street community center. The protestors, backed by Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, collected more than 500 signatures to go along with nearly 2,000 holiday cards, all addressed to the mayor and asking for just one thing this holiday season: That the former CHARAS/El Bohio building be returned to the community. More →