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The Temporary Office of Urban Disturbances

The Real Estate Blues Again: ”If you can’t afford to live here, mo-o-ve!!” at Mitchell-Innes & Nash

by Emily Colucci on June 29, 2016
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One of the first works you see in Martha Rosler’s exhibition If you can’t afford to live here, mo-o-ve!! is a dark and ominous portrait of Donald Trump. Leaning against a wall, the Trump tableau sits behind three glass bottles filled with urine. Is the piece a biting comment on Trump’s pissant Republican presidential campaign? Is it a playful but terrifying foreshadowing of his future official White House portrait?

Andrew Castrucci’s Untitled (Donald Trump) is neither. A quick glance at a nearby wall label confirms Castrucci’s Trump was painted in 1986. Created well before Trump’s presidential ambitions, Castrucci’s work instead critiques Trump as a reckless developer gobbling up large swaths of New York and Atlantic City real estate. As relevant then as it is now, Untitled (Donald Trump) reveals the uncanny confusion between the past and present that runs rampant throughout Rosler’s overstuffed exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash.

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Old School Survival

by Paddy Johnson and Rea McNamara on June 6, 2016
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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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