Post image for A People’s Monument to Anti-Displacement Organizing

“Gentrification is displacement and replacement of people for profits”

-definition from the School of Echo Los Angeles

This definition of gentrification sits at the top of A People’s Monument to Anti-Displacement Organizing, a new collaboratively produced art piece that is viewable as a part of the Third Wave of the AgitProp! Show at the Brooklyn Museum. In the words of its curators, Agitprop! “connects contemporary art that advocates for social change with many activist movements throughout the 20th century,”

The Monument currently functions as a community educational board with a narrative that will change as actions or new information arises around Mayor de Blasio’s rezoning plans. It features a black-led activist group called Movement to Protect the People (MTOPP) that is struggling against rezoning in highlights in Crown Heights.

Post image for No Justice: An Interview with Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw

Anyone who’s seen Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw’s work, has zero chance of forgetting it. In the past, their work has involved placing a dinner table and its diners on a hydraulic lift, live chickens, pig fountains, a crawfish food truck, a tour Chelsea tour bus that sold editioned knock offs of famous artworks, and a gallery-sized art-world themed Monopoly game board activated by actual players. That’s not even half of the work they’ve produced.

The point of all this, is to poke fun at contemporary American culture and question the belief systems that inform it. Their current show at Postmasters, “Behold! I teach you the Overman!”, uses their trademark high-energy approach to art making to great effect. It engulfs viewers in installation, video, painting, and performance that simultaneously criticize and celebrate the role of decadence in life and art. It includes a chair that lifts you upward into a ceiling mounted video viewing cube. Inside, a parade of morally ambiguous leaders and characters engage in heavenly glee while consuming mounds of food. In the middle of the gallery, a freestanding grove of trees cover an artificial pond with a functioning boat ride. The forest’s canopy consists of a multi-media video piece starring Catron and Outlaw. In it, an intergalactic sunbathing chair propels an orange-tanned woman towards the intense light of an overpowering tanning bed, alluding to either a nuclear doomsday, or spacial bliss.  

Post image for PMF VII Weekend Highlights: Exhibitions

Last weekend, Open Space hosted their seventh annual Publications and Multiples Fair, a smorgasbord of DIY press, affordable artwork, and booths from artist-run spaces around the country. I posted a slideshow of the fair, but also went to about a dozen galleries neighboring the Baltimore Design School (site of PMF VII) and Open Space’s brick-and-mortar location. Below are some briefly-annotated highlights.

Post image for This Week’s Must-See Art Events: LOLs & Other Post-Internet Feels

This is a good week for the arts. Wednesday night, head to e-flux for performances by Viktoria Naraxsa and a talk from Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova. Thursday night promises even more glamour, when Malik Gaines discusses disco legend Sylvester at The Artist’s Institute. Meanwhile, Olga Balema will be presenting her modified map pieces at the Swiss Institute.

Friday night, you’ll finally be glad for the G Train, with the all-day Theorizing the Web conference at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens followed by a night of openings in Brooklyn. Be sure to catch performances at the opening of Low Grade Euphoria by the Flushing Ave station, then continue to Gowanus for openings at Ortega y Gasset and Trestle Gallery. Saturday, the Cue Foundation will teach you the all-important skill of art handling, followed by an evening of unpacking a different type of baggage at Kimbery-Klark by Alex Ito and Masami Kubo. Sunday afternoon, hang with queer performance artists at Flux Factory for the latest installment of the do you: open source series.