When you think about classic horror flicks, the word “feminism” probably doesn’t jump out at you– those blood-bathed scenes are usually dominated by hot young women, running around helpless and screaming for their lives. But Spicy Witch Productions is turning the slasher genre on its head in their new repertory season at The Clemente, by exploring the fetishization of violence through the lens of an all-female creative team.
Since we last caught up with Betty Tompkins– the downtown artist best known for her “Fuck Paintings,” she’s been doing what an established artist should be doing, showing her work at art shows and galleries galore. But for most of her career, as we learned, Tompkins was subject to censorship, sexism, and flat-out rejection not just from gallerists and the art world, but from first- and second-wave feminists too. Nevertheless, Tompkins kept painting nether regions and money shots, all of it sourced from porn. “The problem is, I’m a slut for painting,” she said.
We heard all this and more at “A Woman’s Greatest Weapon is Her Tongue,” a Q&A held in conjunction with Tompkins’s new solo exhibition of “Word Paintings,” which depict some of the “awfully familiar” words used to describe women. (“WOMEN Words Phrases Stories” is on view at the FLAG Art Foundation through May 14).
Boobie Trap still holds the record for most synthetic breasts in a bar, but last night Birdy’s and Happyfun Hideaway hosted the real deal. Boobs of Bushwick, the group known for going topless around the neighborhood and uploading shots to Tumblr, bounced into Birdy’s for some foosball at around 11 p.m., followed by Jenga at Happyfun Hideaway.
The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet
Tuesday, January 12 at 7:00 p.m. at The Strand, 828 Broadway
When 26-year-old computer prodigy Aaron Swartz committed suicide in 2013, the tech community was shocked. A founding developer of Reddit and the Creative Commons, Swartz was an important figure for those who supported open information online over an increasingly atomized and commercial internet model. In the aftermath of his death, Slate’s Justin Peters traces the history of the Internet free culture movement and examines Swartz’s legacy as a “data moralist.”
Interviewing Samara Davis and Sophia Cleary about their punk band is an exercise in willpower. It felt like no matter the topic we discussed, it was always punctuated by a double entendre and followed by a long guffaw or a hearty snort. How can you not acknowledge the elephant in the room — er, in this case the giant dong in the room — when you’re discussing a band called Penis?
Whether it’s because of excessive boozing and very often drugging, lowered inhibitions or cover of night, maybe even social expectations or bro-on-bro insanity, the list goes on– people can act like total shitheads at shows, dance parties, clubs, and bars.
Anuradha Golder knows this. She’s been partying for “a while now,” she laughed. “And I always thought, how can I make this better? How can I make this experience more enjoyable for myself?” Her zine, Club Etiquette, aims to answer those questions. Issue No. 3, which dropped in October, looks specifically at sexual harassment. “I understood the zine was eventually going to comment on bigger issues, but it got there pretty quickly,” Anuradha explained.
A “queer feminist cyborg epic time travel thing” has taken residency at the Loft on Classon for a three-week festival that presents the culmination of the ETLE Universe, a maximalist work of science fiction instigated by Sarah A.O. Rosner in 2012. Bedford + Bowery covered the ETLE Universe this past spring, which saw the unveiling of a graphic novel, 3D-printed rings, and a photography exhibition. Now the collective is showing its final works, including an evening-length performance, a feature-length pornography, a performance of the Universe’s concept album, parties, and lectures (a full listing of showings is available here).
Thirty years after the Guerrilla Girls put on their masks and started conducting “weenie counts,” women are still at a disadvantage in the art world. But — as we were reminded by “Girls at Night on the Internet,” a recent show highlighting female net and digi-artists — women are establishing their own, parallel structures of artistic legitimacy and supporting each other now more than ever. Three upcoming all-female art shows demonstrate that women (and female-identifying) artists are connecting across disciplines and taking charge of their own depiction possibly now more than ever.
This isn’t the water towers’ first appearance as an art installation – earlier this year they appeared at a MoMA Design Store show that featured the artists Zero Productivity and MURRZ.