This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Gatekeepers Be Damned

by Paddy Johnson and Rea McNamara on February 9, 2016 Events


During this hallmark week in which we celebrate our love for our partners, what romance is the art world serving up? Nothing we’ve listed, save for an anti-gentrification protest at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this Valentine’s Day. In fact, it seems the entire week has been taken over by activists. From the Act Up—Dyke Action Machine talk at The 8th Floor to the Affordable Housing Show at Hunter, there’s plenty of discussion about how to make change.

Meanwhile, those with a sense of humor should balance all this seriousness out. Between Jayson Musson and Sean Patrick J Carney at SVA tonight to Larissa Valez-Jackson’s improv dance comedy at DANCEROULETTE this Thursday, you’ve got plenty of events to fill up your calendar.

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The CP Projects Space

132 West 21st Street, 10th Floor
New York, NY

Seasons of Loss: Racism and Resistance in the Cultural Field

Within the lens of Black Lives Matter and the BDS Movement, this SVA panel will explore racism as a subject and influence, as well as the current art world trend of social critique. Moderated by SVA department head Steven Henry Madoff, the panelists include Palestinian Museum founding director Jack Persekian, Creative Time chief curator Nato Thompson, and more.

Cooper Union

41 Cooper Sq
New York, NY

Jayson Musson and Sean J Patrick Carney: u shld kill yrself

Safe to say most artists can’t list a shared interest in as many different themes as Jayson Scott Musson and Sean J Patrick Carney. The press release cites pop culture, antagonism, music, comedy and self-deprecation, painting, performance, writing, and sculpture. Um, yeah. Insiders know that these two artists have paired for their similar use of humor. So, watch Musson, the artist best known for his alter ego “Hennessy Youngman” and Sean J Patrick Carney, an artist, comedian, writer and founder of Social Malpractice Publishing discuss their work. We’re guessing there will be a few laughs.


The Bell House

149 7th Street
Brooklyn, NY

IRL Club: Vape the Vote

Honestly, any opportunity an internet person can meet another internet person in the offline on vape politicking, carpe diem already. Hosted by AFC fave Adrian Chen, this evening of talks by cool internet people features a panel that includes Jacobin Magazine founder Bhaskar Sunkara, contributor Vinson Cunningham, Guardian US data editor Mona Chalabi, and more.

Hunter East Harlem Gallery

2180 Third Ave
Harlem, NY

Affordable Housing in New York: The People, Places and Policies That Transformed A City Hunter East Harlem Gallery

What’s the experience of the million and a half New Yorkers who rent or own apartments under affordable housing programs? Affordable Housing in New York offers a snapshot. Curated by Matthew Gordon Lasner, Nicholas Dagen Bloom and Matthias Altwicker, the show includes large-scale interactive architectural models, photography by David Schalliol and participants from the New York Housing Authority program Project Lives, and historical material. The exhibition also includes ideas on the future of affordable housing by students from nine architecture schools.


94 Allen Street
New York, NY

At Home

Featured artists: Sara Canright, Ohad Meromi, Takeshi Murata, Ara Peterson, Sally Saul and Michelle Segre

Ever since we saw Michelle Segre’s dyed and half eaten bread slices at Derek Eller we’ve been looking for an excuse to see more of her work. Well, now we have it. LAUNCH F18 opens a show of self proclaimed weird and uncomfortable art—the latest art world zeitgeist. Not all of it looks that weird to us. Sally Saul’s creepy ceramic heads, yes. Ohad Meromi assemblage sculpture, not so much. But it all looks incredibly accomplished, so we think it’s worth a look.


The 8th Floor

17th West 17th Street
New York, NY

ACT UP and Dyke Action Machine! Conversation

Many New York-based housing activists express frustration over the difficulty of getting people to come out to protests. Those in that boat—and anyone else with an interest in marketing, art and activism—should come out to the conversation between Avram Finkelstein of ACT UP, Carrie Moyer and Sue Schaffner of Dyke Action Machine! and Sara Reisman, the artistic director of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation. These artists have a long career of effective political engagement, from Avram Finkelstein’s iconic Silence = Death poster, to the interventions of Dyke Action Machine! A conversation with these artists couldn’t be more timely, especially when its a free event that’s open to the public. (Attendees are encouraged to RSVP to


509 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

[DANCEROULETTE] New Movement Series: Renee Archibald, Moriah Evans, Larissa Velez-Jackson

Contemporary dance lovers rejoice: Danceroulette promises four performances or 2 hours straight of dance by some of New York’s most talented dancers. Pretty much all the work will be in progress, which is always a good way to understand an artist’s process. And at least one work—that of Larissa Velez-Jackson—probably won’t suffer at all from the in-between state. The work, performed with husband Jon Velez-Jackson, will be improvised, much like the Star Crap Method, which ran at American Realness early this year.


535 West 22nd Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY

Suzanne Treister: HFT The Gardener

Treister, a British new media pioneer, weaves a complicated narrative in becoming the vessel for the outsider artist Hillel Fischer Traumberg. The fictional character, a British high frequency trader whose parapsychophamacological experimentations leads him to numerologically connect the botanical names of psychoactive plants with their corresponding FT Global 500 Financial Index companies. According to academic and networked mysticism inventor Erik Davis, “‘HFT The Gardener’ extends Treister’s fascination with esoteric translation, the cybernetics of consciousness and the hallucinatory aesthetics that radiate from real-world circulations of power.” Expect a long strange trip.

Nicelle Beauchene Gallery

327 Broome Street
New York, NY

Neil Raitt: Fantasy Traveller

There’s nothing wrong with having a tree as a friend. Those fateful words were spoken by American painter Bob Ross, best known for his wet-on-wet oil technique as the host of the totally zen Joy of Painting, and those aforementioned poetic bon mots. His evergreen forests and cascading waterfalls has inspired a body of work by London-based painter Neil Raitt, who’s previously had a solo at LA’s Anat Egbi and was part of the Hole’s Analogue Painting show. In rendering Ross’s traditional landscape motifs through a generative, algorithmically-determined process, he patterns overload those happy little trees as wallpaper-like painting. The show also includes three sculptural works of natch, rustic log cabins.


American Medium

424 Gates Ave
Brooklyn, NY

Ann Hirsch: A Formidable Daughter

We can’t tell if Ann Hirsch’s exhibition statement is also an announcement of her pregnancy, which seems fitting for an artist who’s so deeply delved into reality television and womanhood. The statement takes the form of a letter from her mother, who discusses all of the work in the show from a layman’s perspective. Expect: a chair with a baby and a video of someone giving birth to a baby. And probably a lot more. (Rhizome’s online exhibition of her work “Horny lil Feminist” included over 30 pieces.)


28 Frost Street
Williamsburg, NY

Juan Obando: MUSEUM MIXTAPE (Dirty South)

In 2012, Juan Obando was awarded a Rhizome commission to create MUSEUM MIXTAPE, a 2014 video album where up and coming rappers freestyle critiques about art hanging in the art museums of North Carolina. The Bogotá artist, who stages locative performers and mediated experiences that are critical interventions of social systems, was interested in the disconnect between institutions and the communities they’re supposedly serving. The trailer for the album is amazing, especially for the way in which the rappers start off their digs: on a tapestry, one rapper observes “that’s the type of rug you’ll pay a hundred stacks for.” Truer words have never been said.


CUE Art Foundation

137 W 25th Street, Ground Floor
New York, NY

Tamara Johnson: No Your Boundaries

A show of simple, elegant lines found in sculpture and photography.


A Citizens’ Meeting at Koch Plaza, Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street)
New York, NY

Gentrification Primary NYC: Manhattan vs. Brooklyn

What better way to spend your Valentine’s day then protesting gentrification at the Metropolitan Museum of Art! A citizen’s meeting will be held at Koch Plaza, a symbol of private money invading public space. Artist Studio Affordability Project’s Jenny Dubnau and AFC’s own Paddy Johnson will be offering a teach-in session at this event. If you’re wondering what you can do to combat high rents, this seminar is for you.

Lyles & King

106 Forsyth Street at Broome
New York, NY


Does the ubiquity of images somehow threaten the life of objects‚—or at least change them in some way? Given the amount of images printed on crap, I think we can conclude that, yes, some changes have taken place over the last few years. Here’s a show of artists, only some of whom work digitally, who have been recruited to help answer this question.

Featured artists: John Divola, Michael Henry Hayden, Sean Kennedy, David Kennedy Cutler, Dwyer Kilcollin, Sara Ludy, Anissa Mack, Claes Oldenburg, Benjamin Phelan and Brie Ruais. Curated by Michael Delucia and Ethan Greenbaum.

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