Not even Valentine’s Day can stop the great parade of descent-into-hell-themed apocalyptic art-making. This week, Charles Harlan will be transforming Venus Over Manhattan into an industrial version of the Lower World. On the emerging end of the spectrum, Tamara Johnson will transform the Rooster Gallery’s bathroom.
Lisa Cooley and Laurel Gitlen are in the Valentine’s spirit, collaborating on the group show Stay in Love. Performance also remains popular on the Lower East Side, and a massive photo show at the Morgan Library will be taking us up to Midtown.
Venus Over Manhattan980 Madison Avenue
Charles Harlan: Ishtar
Get ready for another all-in show at Venus Over Manhattan, which will be transformed this week by artist Charles Harlan’s industrial hardware store materials. Inspired by the book “The Descent of the Goddess Ishtar Into the Lower World,” visitors will be forced to navigate their own dark voyage into the gallery through a steel barrier of a roll-down gate…beyond which likely lies a lot of hardware. Wear pants.
Laurel Gitlen122 Norfolk Street
6:00 - 8:00 PMWebsite
AUTOGRAFT: Math Bass, Cara Benedetto, Lydia Gifford, Lisa Williamson
Laurel Gitlen and Lisa Cooley are becoming a LES power couple; the two galleries collaborated on Stay in Love, a conceptual-minded joint-exhibition held in their galleries. Now they’re parting ways and Gitlen’s getting back to the solo life with AUTOGRAFT.
We’re not sure what Gitlen will pull out for the show, but we’re excited to see what artist Cara Benedetto has in store; this might not mean much, but she has one of the better, grittier artist websites I’ve seen in a while. “Click to enter her own short introduction, greeting, or cumstain here” and “What makes your clicking cunt unique, and why are you the best at what you do?” fill up the front page.
Cage83 Hester St
Doors: 7:30 PM, Performance starts at 8:00 PMWebsite
REHEARSAL with Alex Romania
It’s fair to say New York’s in a performance moment right now. Once New York’s Performa transformed into an international, high-gloss affair, it became high time for rallying up and starting alternative spaces and festivals that revel in a more spontaneous, no-budget affairs. One of those organizations, REHEARSAL, has focused on showing performance “works-in-process” around the city since 2011. Thursday’s performance by Alex Romania promises a work called “Tofu Hotdog,” which according to the artist is about “fears, shame, and embarrassment” and it might be “a beautifully humiliating mess.”
La Mama Gallery6 East 1st Street
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 13, 6:00-9:00pm, with an opening night performance by Tamar Ettun’s Moving Company from 6:30 to 8:30pmWebsite
And on that note, there’s yet another performance event to check out on Thursday night. Still Acts features a handful of today’s better-known performance artists (Clifford Owens, Liz Magic Laser, and Jeanine Oleson); some of them will be performing, others will have photos and documents of previous performances, all related to stillness and slowing down time. I’m particularly interested in seeing Jeanine Oleson’s photographs surrounding the Svalbard Global Seed Vault—it’s like a Noah’s Ark for conserving the world’s seeds, in case of a doomsday scenario.
Featured Artists: Sol Aramendi and Nicolás Dumit Estévez, Tamar Ettun, Brendan Fernandes, Liz Magic Laser, Jeanine Oleson, Clifford Owens, and Emily Roysdon
Know More Games561 Clinton Street
Carroll Gardens, 11231
Opening on Friday February 14, 2014, From 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM Website
Rose Marcus has been focusing on the “real” New York, as depicted in film and TV, for a while now (a few years ago she curated a show titled “Some Facts About Manhattan”). In the new show at Know More Games, she looks into the work of the first Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting, Richard Brick, who brought filming back to New York. This, she says, gave the images an air of political authority because they were tied to a government-ordained representation of the city. That thesis seems a little pat to apply to reality, but it’s an interesting idea.
The Morgan Library225 Madison Avenue
10:30 AM- 5:00 PMWebsite
A Collective Invention: Photographs at Play
You can probably skip the Valentine’s Day opening, but we’ll take some extra time out for the substantial photo show at the Morgan Library; it’s playfully arranges works from over 24 different collections, in a “surprising chain of visual associations.” Is this more of the on-the-surface @historyinpics approach to curating? Maybe, but you’ll also get to see a lot of images that aren’t often put on view. February 14 through May 18, 2014
Rooster Gallery190 Orchard Street
THE BATHROOM, Project Space
Starting this Sunday, if you ask Rooster Gallery to access their bathroom, they will let you. Sunday will see the debut of the gallery’s first “bathroom project space” exhibition, a sound-and-object installation by Tamara Johnson (a 2013 alum of the Socrates Sculpture Park Emerging Artist Fellowship Program). It might involve some green garden hoses.