Urban survival, whether it’s the cost of living in New York or even riding along Sag Habour in a self-sustaining houseboat, looms largely in this week’s events. Tonight’s lecture at the Morbid Anatomy Museum suggests that this dates back to Weimar Berlin’s era of anarchy and decadence, where fake fakirs — religious ascetics who live solely on alms — got by with their gnarly nails and pins piercing. Flash forward to Saturday’s MoMA opening of Nan Goldin’s famous 1986 visual diary “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency”, and those piercings became the battle scars of surviving the East Village’s punk bohemia. Today, we’re thankfully more practical in eking out our incomes: we look to the sun and its instruments (see this Thursday’s opening of the “Heliotropes” group show at Geary Contemporary) or envision terrible futures in our analogue pasts (“that old school dystopia” at Theodore:Art on Friday). But sustainability, if we quickly cut to the chase, really involves supporting each other, which is why this weekend’s workshops around the nuts and bolts of artist finances or even writing and editing an artist statement will get you ahead. No need for any physical scars.
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