This Week’s Must-see Art Events: Seeing and (Not) Hearing

by Katie Waddell on March 24, 2015 · 3 comments Events

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 11.21.29 AMThis week, it’s art for all your senses. Start the week with a cinematic sensory overload. Taper off with some quiet contemplation and intentional time-wasting. Watch a very different kind of silent film, take a hands-on approach to roaming the city, or consume some art—literally, at a dinner party. What else is on this week’s menu? Cyborgs, activists, and one costumed squirrel. Yum.

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Light Industry

155 Freeman Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222
7:30 PMWebsite

Leslie Thornton’s Adynata + Abigail Child’s Mayhem

Watching back-to-back experimental films from the 1980s—especially these experimental films—from the 1980s is quite a way to cap off a Tuesday.

Cerebral and non-linear, Adynata and Mayhem, critique Hollywood-style voyeurism, all in an attempt to find a new cinematic language for desire.

According to Light Industry’s weighty press release, the films will include:

  • girls and guns
  • cross-racial drag
  • a ritual dance scene set to Bow Wow Wow’s “(I’m a) TV Savage”

Sounds intense, as it should.



Goethe-Institut New York

30 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003
5:00 PMWebsite


If you’re a relatively well adjusted member of the 21st century who doesn’t happen to live under a rock, you’ve probably absorbed the twin gospels of productivity and efficiency. In recent years, wasting time has reemerged as a virtue, a rare gift. Berlin performance artist Wanda Golonka invites audiences to indulge in this alien practice. Visitors to the Goethe-Institut’s library and project space will be encouraged to take up idle pursuits, the remnants of which will eventually be fashioned into an installation by stage designer Colin Walker. Sounds like a great way to pass a lazy weekday evening, if you can stand the total lack of pressure.


Hunter East Harlem and the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work

2180 Third Avenue at 119th Street
New York, NY 10035
6:00 PMWebsite


Anchor, part one: the photographer.  

You’ve probably never heard of Hiram Maristany before. He’s spent his entire life in East Harlem. He’s not famous—though he was associated with the Puerto-Rican activist group The Young Lords—but damn, his photographs have captured the borough’s ever-evolving cultural identity and street life better than anything, or anyone, else.

Anchor, part two: the contemporary artists.

You’ve probably heard of some of the artists in the exhibition: Nicole Cohen, Selena Kimball, Miguel Luciano, Steven Perez, Saul Williams, and Caroline Woolard. They’ll be presenting projects based on Maristany’s photographs, shown inside the Hunter East Harlem gallery and in neighborhood locations, over the next several weeks.

The full schedule, below:

Exhibition projects:

Thursday, April 2, 2015: Sketch artist Stephen Mancusi will be in the gallery for portrait drawing sessions open to the public as part of Selena Kimball’s project, Hunter East Harlem, 1-3PM, he will also be in the gallery on: Thursday, April 16th, May 7th, and May 21st.

Saturday, April 11, 2015 – Performative Walking Tour of East Harlem by Steven Perez, starting at Hunter East Harlem, 2-4PM

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 – Nicole Cohen video art installation opening, East Harlem Church, details to come

Saturday, May 9, 2015  – Public workshop by Caroline Woolard, details to come

Saturday, May 16, 2015 – Miguel Luciano kite building workshop, Silberman School of Social work and an East Harlem rooftop, details to come

Friday, May 29, 2015 – Saul Williams public performance at St. Edward the Martyr Church, 14 East 109th St, 8PM

Saturday, June 6, 2015 –  Performative Walking Tour of East Harlem by Steven Perez, starting at Hunter East Harlem, 2-4P

Saturday, June 13, 2015 – Exhibition Closing, reception at Hunter East Harlem, 5PM



Daniel Cooney Fine Art

508 - 526 West 26th Street #9C
New York, NY 10001
11:00 AMWebsite

Nina Leen: LensLady

You have to wonder how Nina Leen’s work was received by her Life colleagues. In 1940, she became the magazine’s first female contract photographer, and as humdrum as her assignments capturing American teenagers and fashion models may have been, her photographs manage to be anything but. Take the image of the teenager lying cheek-to-cheek with a pillow bearing Hedy Lamarr’s face, for example. And what’s with the squirrel in tiny outfits?

Studio Museum in Harlem

44 West 125th Street
New York, NY 10027
12:00 PMWebsite

Six New Exhibitions Opening at the Studio Museum in Harlem

This sextuple-opening at the Studio Museum in Harlem features permanent collection highlights, portraits, two decades of drawings, de/re-constructed books, hair and nails as identity politics, and postcards as meditations on place. There’s so much to see, you might as well get an early start, then stick around for Trenton Doyle Hancock’s artist talk at 7:00 PM.

Zieher Smith & Horton

516 West 20th Street
New York, New York 10011
5:00 PMWebsite

Clare Grill: Touch’d Lustre

Clare Grill’s paintings are simultaneously subtle and complex. So if you’re feeling a little worn-out from panels, performances, participatory events, and all they demand from their audiences, head to Zieher Smith & Horton for some good old-fashioned looking. Sometimes, unassuming abstract painting is just what the doctor ordered.


Museum of Modern Art

11 West 53rd Street
New York, NY 10019
9:00 PMWebsite

The Tribe

The Tribe is a coming-of-age tale set in contemporary Ukraine. You can totally bring that one friend who “doesn’t do subtitles,” because there aren’t any. The only language in the film is sign language. No subtitles. No voiceovers.

Assuming that the filmmakers anticipated a substantial non-signing viewership, did they intend the lack of audible dialog to contribute to The Tribe’s visual and emotive richness?

Or is this the perfect setup for DIY Mystery Science Theater-style voiceovers? All signs point to yes.



22-01 Jackson Avenue L.I.C.
New York, NY 11101
11:00 AMWebsite

Art Handler Symposium

The Art Handler Symposium is, well, a symposium for art handlers. It’s also an attempt to shine a light on the most overlooked (and least glamorous) subset of the art world—a subset that nevertheless remains vital to its operations. Come out, and hear about the top issues on the minds of every art handler: enfranchisement, fair wages, and who gets to be Mr. or Ms. December on next year’s NYC Freelance Art Handlers calendar.

Self-promotion alert:  AFC’s own Paddy Johnson, a former art handler, and current supporter of the cause, will moderate the “Art Handler Veterans” panel.

Full schedule:

11-11:30AM Introduction

11:30AM-1:00PM Art Handling Veterans panel discussion

1:00-2:00PM Salvage Art Institute presentation

2:30-4:00PM Artist-Worker panel discussion

4:00-5:30PM Organized Art Workers panel discussion


Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space

120 Essex Street, Inside the Essex Street Market
New York, NY 10002
5:00 PMWebsite

Shifting Impressions

Reverse-archeologists Liene Bosquê and Nicole Seisler lead audiences on urban ambles and invite them to make impressions of the built environment using a soft block of clay. The clay retains traces of both the landscape and the imprinter’s hand–it’s a record of a pedestrian having noticed something about their city. For Shifting Impressions, the artists will lead three of these walks through Essex Street Market on subsequent Saturdays in April. The opening reception is this Saturday, but we also recommend going back for one of the walks. It’s a perfect excuse to play 21st-century flâneur.

Knockdown Center

52-19 Flushing Ave.
Queens, NY 11378
8:00 PMWebsite

Xaymaca/Queens: A Dinner with Piranha Club and Paul Anthony Smith

This one is a dinner party. Here are some tantalizing samples from the Facebook invite: “underground supper club,” “Caribbean-inflected feast,” “local wild game.” If that’s not an easy sell, we don’t know what is.



Judson Memorial Church

55 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012
4:00 PMWebsite

User Agent

The term “user agent” refers to software that acts on behalf of a user. The NYPAC performance program of the same name presents four performances that interrogate our relationships to technological apparatuses (we’re looking at you, Bluetooth cyborgs and chronic over-Tweeters). Expect a speed-reading of software-driven text, avatar-controlled choreography, and an experimental essay performed by Susan Bennett, the actual voice of Siri. Artists include: Tyler Coburn, Ian Hatcher, Lanny Jordan Jackson, and collective Research Service.


strunken white March 24, 2015 at 1:50 pm

from User Agent’s website, emphasizing for the benefit of casual readers:

“Tyler Coburn, NaturallySpeaking, 2013/2014: NaturallySpeaking is an experimental essay performed live for the first time by Susan Bennett, the original voice of Siri, Apple’s speech recognition software.”


Daniel Cooney March 24, 2015 at 2:52 pm

Hey AFC,

Thanks for the shout out on the Nina Leen exhibition. It’s a great show and the squirrel “Tommy Tucker”is not taxidermy. He was alive and apparently liked to wear dresses!

Dan Cooney

Katie Waddell March 24, 2015 at 3:29 pm

Wow, that is one chilled-out squirrel. Thanks for the tip, Dan!

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