Probably the most inspiring night of my life was Genesis Breyer P-Orridge’s artist talk at MICA a few years ago. I’m likely paraphrasing here, but there was anecdote along the lines of “If you told me when we were pissing in a bottle as performance art in the Sixties that we’d end up saving dolphins in the Eighties, we wouldn’t have believed it. But now, in retrospect, we see that they’re all parts of the same process.” The message I took away from this: art is important. Working out our frustrations and tears and hopes now might lead to tangible victories in the future—even if they might be considered small in the grand scheme of things.
That’s why I’m personally exceptionally proud to have Genesis speaking on Wednesday night as part of our Strange Genitals exhibition at AICAD. This is a person of extreme wisdom, compassion, and rebellious spirit—qualities the world desperately needs right now. In a strange twist of irony, two events extremely dear to AFC’s interests are competing with the talk: a discussion about DICKS at Fortnight Institute, and a performance interpreting Dennis Cooper’s GIF novels at the New Museum.
There’s plenty of more overtly politically-minded art events for the rest of the week. Thursday night, Xaviera Simmons opens a mysterious solo show at Half Gallery, and Terence Gower talks US-Cuba relations at Simon Preston Gallery, followed by an unrelated LGBT anti-Trump rally in Washington Square Park. If you’re energized from that, meet with State Committeeman Ben Yee at Arts on Site Friday for a discussion on organizing resistance ahead of the midterm elections. We’re also excited for openings at the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Arts and Vector Gallery, where some AFC reviews might just find their way into JJ Brine’s sculptures…
The weekend brings Pioneer Works’ conference on alternative art schools. I’d expect the conversations to be dominated by the election results rather than pure pedagogy. Saturday night, Michael St. John uses Walt Whitman to consider subjectivity in democracy at Andrea Rosen Gallery, and PS1’s Mark Leckey-centered Night at the Museum might just encourage us to dance our way through these trying times.
Don’t give up on art. You are so, so important.