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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Give Thanks for Kate Bush

by Michael Anthony Farley on November 21, 2016
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It’s a slow week, but one with just enough good events to keep any Thanksgiving-related food coma at bay. Monday night, we’ve got two book release events with talks and more! Fragments of Metropolis – Rhein & Ruhr launches with a panel discussion at NYU’s Deutsches Haus and Douglas Crimp: Before Pictures is kicking-off at The Kitchen. Tuesday, rising video art star Sondra Perry speaks at SVA and bitforms gallery returns to its roots for a homecoming party. Wednesday, MoMA opens a Josef Albers exhibit that shows the color guru’s dark(room) side.

Thursday is Thanskgiving, so there are no art events. But if you can’t deal with the potential of seeing a Trump-supporting relative, I recommend teaming up with friends to support local immigrant-owned businesses instead! Post-holiday, there’s a bit of a slowdown. On Black Friday, check out a campy screening at Williamsburg’s Spectacle theater. Saturday Pioneer Works is hosting the Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation. If that’s not your thing, head to Roulette, where artists reinterpret the music of Kate Bush. That’s one thing we can all be thankful for.

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Wikileaks: Marina Abramović Invited Clinton Campaign Chair to Satanic Menstrual Blood & Sperm Fest?

by Michael Anthony Farley on November 4, 2016
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Halloween may be over, but this shit-show of an electoral haunted-hay-ride just got a little spookier.

Wikileaks has released an email purportedly hacked from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s inbox from none other than performance art star Marina Abramović. The email had been forwarded from his brother, lobbyist Tony Podesta last June, inviting John to join him at a “Spirit Cooking” party hosted by Abramović in New York, at the artist’s request.

email-marina

“Spirit Cooking” is an Abramović piece supposedly inspired by famous Satanist Aleister Crowley’s occultist rituals. It involves the artist painting the walls with menstrual blood, breast milk, and other bodily fluids.

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With A Little Help From My Friends: Ellen Cantor’s ‘Pinochet Porn’ At MoMA

by Emily Colucci on November 3, 2016
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It’s quite a surprise that a film titled Pinochet Porn depicts a tender portrait of friendship. Granted, Ellen Cantor’s final film buries that theme under a shocking mélange of spank-heavy sex scenes, depressed clowns, descriptions of rape and torture over vintage Pepsi ads and disturbing archival footage of the Pinochet dictatorship, Hitler and September 11th. But looking beyond its violent and erotic imagery, the film is a celebration of a close-knit avant-garde community.

This became clear at the film’s premiere at MoMA on Monday night, part of the museum’s Modern Mondays film program. Playing to a sold-out theater, the screening also featured a post-film discussion between the Museum’s Chief Curator of Media and Performance Art Stuart Comer, Participant Inc.’s founding director Lia Gangitano, who appears in the film, and filmmaker John Brattin, who acted as Director of Photography. While this is common with MoMA’s screenings, it seemed particularly important on Monday. Firsthand accounts of the film’s production and posthumous completion, provided here by Gangitano and Brattin, seem irrevocably intertwined with any analysis or enjoyment of the film itself.

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Future Bodies are Everywhere and Terrifying

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on October 17, 2016
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There’s plenty of heady discourse this week—future bodies, hypothetical architectures, theories of curation and criticism—and of course plenty of election-related hand-wringing.

Kick it off Monday night at Jersey City’s Word Bookstore, where the Brooklyn Institute of Social Research is inaugurating a lecture series about cyborgs. Or head to Manhattan’s Red Bull Studios for an event celebrating Grand Arts, the Kansas City project space that launched dozens of conceptual art projects and, now, a catalogue. Tuesday night, Paddy Johnson joins other art critics to talk shop at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Dweck Cultural Center, and Tyler Coburn talks genetic engineering and body mods as the future of humanity at e-flux. If you’re looking for something more hands-on (or a chance to move your feet), there’s a survey of handmade prints at Site:Brooklyn and an epic-looking disco fundraiser for El Museo del Bario Wednesday night. Thursday, White Box is opening a jam-packed group show (with some impressive names!) all about political angst. Friday we’ve got a talk from Maura Riley at Stony Brook Manhattan and Underdonk opening a class-conscious solo show by Patrice Renee Washington.

But the weekend brings us back to what we like the most: artwork that investigates the weird. Selena Gallery’s two person show from Dalia Amara and Florencia Escudero looks for uncanny surrogate female bodies in consumer goods on Saturday night. Sunday, Sascha Braunig’s work at MoMA will likely strike a similar chord. And MARC STRAUS opens a solo show by Chris Joneswho builds fantastical dioramas (pictured) from mundane images.

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This Week’s Must See Events: Ride the Macabre Wave

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on September 20, 2016
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Last month, Corinna Kirsch pointed out to us that NYC’s art scene is getting pretty goth this fall. A quick glance at the exhibition thumbnails below reveals this spooky prophecy was dead-accurate: graveyards, skulls, and darkness predominate.

Tuesday night, recount the psychedelic adventures of Bruce Conner at MoMA. Wednesday, the domestic gets the spotlight with projects from Chloë Bass and Oksana Todorova at CUNY and A+E Studios, respectively. Expect plenty of creep-out factor from the latter’s biomorphic, toxic household items. Thursday, Julie Mehretu’s occult-influenced new body of work takes her practice in a darker direction, and Irene Lusztig lectures about conjuring empathy from (probably) eerie archival material.

The weekend gets even more macabre. Brian Andrew Whiteley is displaying his infamous tombstone at Christopher Stout Gallery Friday night, while Ghost of a Dream builds their own dream haunted house from the ruins of art fairs Saturday at Smack Mellon. And of course, Wickerham & Lomax’s Local Atonement: A Nutshell Study of Unexplained Death opens at American Medium. Sunday, Mana Contemporary’s fall open house encompasses just about everything under the sun—from Marilyn Monroe’s poetry to Israeli textiles—but of course a little momento mori content as well. Andy Warhol’s skull paintings will be on view. 30 years after his death, Warhol still has his finger on the undead pulse of the art world zeitgeist

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AFC’s Fall Forecast: Goth Art Everywhere

by Michael Anthony Farley and Corinna Kirsch on August 19, 2016
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Winter is coming. As the nights grow longer, shadows seem to creep into the city’s innumerable white boxes.

Our prediction for what the Fall/Winter 2016 look will be in New York: goth as fuck.

Artists, galleries, and institutions across the city seem to be embracing the macabre, gloomy, and achromatic in the months leading up to Halloween (by far, the art world’s most important holiday). We’re looking forward to aesthetic darkness, existential angst, and an embrace of the occult. Is this otherworldly tragic election season to blame for our state of mourning? We’re not sure, but let’s hope some fall weather shows up in time for us to break out our all-black wardrobes.

We’ve rated New York’s darkest upcoming art shows from “one tube of black lipstick” for “somewhat bleak” to “five tubes of black lipstick” for “this gallery is essentially a food court full of crying mall goths.” Our picks, arranged by opening date:

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The Spiritual Failure of Tony Oursler’s “Imponderable”

by Rhett Jones on July 22, 2016
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Is there a secret, intertwined history that ties together mass media, spiritualist con artists, pulp fiction and the unreliability of the image? Tony Oursler’s “Imponderable” would like you to think so. The multimedia artist’s latest work (on at MoMA through January 8th, 2017) is a 90-minute immersive video experience that attempts to draw connections between all of those topics as well as his own familial autobiography and other threads that relate to his collection of spiritualist memorabilia. Unfortunately, when the work seems to come close to solidifying a thematic relationship between the various subjects on its mind, it tends to feel a bit like a magician clumsily employing misdirection. The audience sees a hat, a beautiful assistant and a rabbit up the sleeve, but no magic.

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