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andrew birk

This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Avoiding Anything Armory Edition

by Michael Anthony Farley and Rea McNamara on March 1, 2016
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Art-fair haters rejoice! The Armory Week Fairs are upon us, but there is art to see and events to attend that don’t require traveling through the halls of a convention center. Take the launch of Lorna Mills’ monthly GIF presentation on the electronic billboards of Times Square as part of Times Square Arts, or the opening of the Artist’s Institute’s new uptown home, which will kick off its six month season focused on the inimitable Hilton Als. Both take place outside of an art fair booth and in the real world!

Looking to escape the fairs this weekend? Flux Factory launches the Fung Wah Biennial, presenting the work of artists on the Chinatown bus routes. This Saturday, the destination is Boston, so if you’re looking for a post-Armory ride, this might be the ticket. (But act quick: as of writing, ten tickets are left.)

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On Zona MACO: How to Excel at Being an Average Art Fair

by Michael Anthony Farley on February 11, 2016
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Last week, I visited Mexico City’s Zona MACO (México Arte Contemporaneo), Latin America’s largest art fair. This was on the heels of our visit to Material, a satellite fair that impressed Paddy and me beyond our expectations. Walking into MACO felt just like visiting the most art fair-y of art fairs by comparison—which is to say, the immediate experience was predictable. There were long convention center lines, groups of “fresas” queuing up to take selfies in reflective sculptures, and familiar overexposed blue-chip names such as Alex Katz and Richard Prince. (“Fresas” is Mexican slang for “yuppies”, literally translating to “strawberries”.) MACO devoted a good chunk of floor space to design wares—from furniture to high-end sunglasses. I wasn’t immediately inspired to lend the event much thought beyond snapping some photos. With a few days of reflection, I realize Zona MACO is noteworthy for its extremes. And that’s not just the quality or quantity of blatantly commercial crap. For all the lackluster blue chip staples on the floor, I also saw an impressive amount of well-curated project booths that smartly positioned emerging artists and galleries in dialogue with the establishment. These two poles served a useful purpose: they lay bare how contemporary art fairs function. Zona MACO is the best model I can think of to demonstrate how for-profit fairs must work to remain both commercially viable and discursively relevant. For better or for worse, MACO excels at both.

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Your Mexico City Weekend Guide

by Michael Anthony Farley on February 4, 2016
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After a week jam-packed with openings, art fairs, lectures and performances, the weekend brings more of the same. And a lot of weird.

Saturday’s numerous openings are more or less located in an arc of neighborhoods surrounding Bosque de Chapultepec, so factor in some time to let yourself get lost in the park (really, one of the most beautiful in the world). End the night at a tres.cero.tres, a new DIY space in Roma Norte where I’ll be DJing a dance party alongside some of DF’s most fun punx and performance artists.

Sunday, head back to the area around Expo Reforma, where Material will be wrapping up with all-day “club” programming at Beverly’s. Then walk over to a mysterious pop-up from Public Art Projects and check out Uno Caña’s open studios around the corner.

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This Week’s Must-see Art Events: Back to School Guide

by Paddy Johnson Michael Anthony Farley Rea McNamara on September 9, 2015
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Now that we’re all back from our art-world summer vacation, looking at our schedules can be mildly panic-inducing. Have no fear, we have a syllabus to help you navigate one very hectic September week. Tonight, there are more openings in the Lower East Side than one can possibly see between the hours of six and eight. We recommend prioritizing Regina Rex and 247365, which will be opening a new exhibition space adjacent to their gallery at 57 Stanton. Thursday, head up to Chelsea for a new video installation by Christian Marclay at Paula Cooper, a solo show from Andrew Birk at Johannes Vogt, and a very-timely video piece about the alienation of migrant women by the multi-national artist Elektra KB at BravinLee programs. Friday night, there’s no one Manhattan neighborhood to call homeroom. Sprint from Printed Matter to White Columns to the BHQF’s Foundation University Gallery (FUG) for some new, up-close but not-too-personal in flagrante delicto scenes from the legendary Betty Tompkins.

Saturday afternoon, the must-see event is undoubtedly the Knockdown Center’s Internet Yami-Ichi, an informal marketplace for all things net-art related. AFC’s own Corinna Kirsch with Dylan Schenker will be releasing a zine encyclopedia of everything you need to know about the internet in 2015. Saturday night, there are openings all over Brooklyn, but we recommend heading to REVERSE for an evening of virtual reality escapism. Sunday, check out early drawings from queer filmmaker Barbara Hammer at Company Gallery, a thrift-store-themed show at Soloway, and a panel discussion on Snapchat featuring AFC alumn Matthew Leifheit at Signal. PHEW.

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