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The Whitney Biennial: Visual Screen Burn Courtesy of America’s Finest

by Paddy Johnson on March 16, 2017
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Out of the ten Whitney Biennials I’ve seen, this is the first one that could have used a vomit warning. But here we are, in Trump’s America, a future many of us never wanted to imagine, let alone live through. What is the purpose of art in this New America? This year’s Biennial bears no answers. Art doesn’t exist to defend its purpose and even if it did this exhibition was organized prior to the election. Nevertheless, it does bring then-simmering themes to a boil. So, while almost none of the work is Trump themed, as a whole the exhibition reads as a responsive to the challenges the country faces—increasing income inequality across the board, failing institutions, and the rise of hate-fueled violence. If art is a mirror, then this year’s Biennial should scare the shit out of you.

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Winter is Coming

by Michael Anthony Farley on March 13, 2017
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The week is of course dominated by two news items: The Whitney Biennial and The Wintery Downfall.

After the blizzard, Wednesday is a great opportunity to get yourself in the snowy mood, art-wise. Enjoy doses of culture from freezing, windswept regions, including Marsden Hartley’s Maine at The Met Breuer (if you’re missing the Whitney’s old digs) and Berlin-based Danish/Norwegian duo Elmgreen & Dragset in conversation with Dan Cameron at The Flag Art Foundation. Later, catch the Icelandic thriller Hevn at Scandinavia House’s New Nordic Cinema screening series.

Other highlights include Fort Gansevoort’s female-perspective sports show March Madness Thursday night and TRANSFER’s four year birthday party, which will feature affordable editions from some of our favorite digital artists.

Oh yeah, and make time to check out the Biennial. I’m told it’s good, but “traumatic”. An appropriately bleak show to match our physical and political climate?

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Grad School, Reading and Weeding

by Michael Anthony Farley and Rea McNamara on April 18, 2016
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Get ready for a week of “higher” education. Wednesday is 4/20, and American Medium has a night of corporate-retreat stoner comedy to celebrate. Art journal Packet Bi-Weekly‘s is also marking the occasion with a special “Hi-Weekly” issue. But if you’re looking for some non-weed-themed intellectual pursuits, come see our own Paddy Johnson speak at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City on Thursday or grab the latest issue of n+1 at their Friday night launch party at SIGNAL. MFA thesis exhibitions are in full swing, with programming and openings from ICP Bard, SVA’s curatorial practice MA, and Columbia on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, respectively.

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

by Michael Anthony Farley and Rea McNamara on April 13, 2016
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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.

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Material Art Fair: The Most Important Art Event of the Year for Artists

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on February 5, 2016
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For years we’ve sung the praises of NADA, an artist-centric fair that celebrates and works to commodify the strange, the creative and the wonder. In 2015, though, we began to question the model. Was NADA a bit stale compared to recent years? Was ARTIST RUN, a new fair that celebrates the DIY artist, closer to our interests?

These questions came up a lot yesterday at the Material Art Fair in Mexico City, which AFC staff writer Michael Anthony Farley described as a “great compromise between ARTIST RUN and NADA. Farley was referring to the structure of the fair, which invited more dealers than artists to participate, but retained the artistic energy and life essential to new art by keeping the booth prices low. It’s a great fair.

I agree the sentiment, but would put it a little differently: Material tells us that NADA can easily be replicated.

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