Art Fag City’s 2011 Fall Preview: Museum Edition

by Art Fag City on September 15, 2011 Preview

Sanford Biggers, "Shake," 2011, video still

As the last of the McQueen and Trecartin buzz finally dies, you may be wondering: what could museums possibly put out this fall to top this year’s record successes?   This fall’s exhibitions seem to set a slower pace, at a more somber tone, so it seems the answer: a relief.  We’ve compiled a list of museum shows and events we won’t want to miss, including– buh buh da dum– the return of the Art Book Fair!  Be sure to check back soon for our October gallery preview.

September 10th:

Sculpture CenterSanford Biggers: Cosmic Voodoo Circus, 44-19 Purves Street, Long Island City, Open September 10th – November 28th.

Sculpture Center’s artist-in-residence Sanford Biggers presents Cosmic Voodoo Circus, an exhibition that addresses identity through the carnival aesthetic.  In keeping with his interests in ethnography, as well as contingent, cross-cultural similarities, his video Shake follows a clown/stuntman/choreographer through different stages of the Brazilian landscape, from ocean to shanty town to colonial palace.  If nothing else, we can guarantee that this will be visually rich.

A corresponding installation will include circus-like sculpture, and will be shown simultaneously with Short Stories (below).

Iman Issa, Interior/ Practice(s) (Missing Detail 8), 2011; Ben Schumacher, 217 251 Chrome, (detail), 2011.

Sculpture Center, Short Stories: Iman Issa and Ben Schumacher, 44-19 Purves Street, Long Island City, Open September 10th – October 2nd.

Short Stories dares to shush the authority of art historians and critics in favor of the artist’s practice.  In a three-part series, the first show will feature Iman Issa and Ben Schumacher. Both Issa and Schumacher have an interest in context and stories; Issa explores collective memory through reconstructing and recontextualizing imagery, while Schumacher customizes documentation of his original sculptures and distributes them via the internet. There’s some question as to whether history and criticism can be truly divorced from art at this point, but since we enjoy these artists’ knack for conscientious arrangements, it’s best to keep that query at bay.

September 11th:

Thomas Hirschhorn, Mondrian Altar, 1997 Mixed media

MoMA: PS1September 11th, 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City.  Open September 11th-January 9th.

Many of the artists in the MoMA/PS1 September 11th show seem way out of left field: Diane Arbus, James Turrell, Ellsworth Kelly, and John Lennon, to name a few.  “It speaks to memory,” curator Peter Eleey told the New York Times, which may be why many of the works were made well before the event.  This may work to their advantage, as the previewed works seem eerily applicable in their sense of loss and foreboding; it could also be a huge curatorial overstep.

September 18th:

Former Ford Motor Company headquarters, Highland Park, 2009, digital print

The Queens Museum of Art, Detroit Disassembled: Photographs by Andrew Moore, Open September 18th – January 15th.

The photos of Andrew Moore may get lost amongst 9/11 exhibitions and big-name retrospectives, but Detroit Disassembled at the Queens Museum looks to be a timely exhibition.  Moore’s photos depict utter collapse and decay of what used to be an industrial hub of the U.S.  From this mossy Ford office to a factory building-turned-shanty-tent, they take a long, ethereal look outside.

September 22, September 24th:

A patient afflicted with Chenallier Dermatolysis. "Through The Weeping Glass", Copyright 2011, Quay Brothers

The College of Physicians, 19 South 22nd Street, Philadelphia, September 22nd, 6 PM
MoMA, 11 West 53rd Street, New York, September 24th, 7:45 PM
Quay Brothers screenings and exhibition

In what may be the best PR idea, ever, the Mütter Museum of Philadelphia (sort of like a giant wunderkammer) has produced Through the Weeping Glass, a new Quay Brothers film: a hybrid documentary of the museum’s collections of books, instruments, and medical anomalies. Expect a dark, near campy take on old world medicine; watch the related interview here.  The film is screening at the Mütter on the 22nd, in conjunction with an exhibit, and at MoMA on the 24th.

September 30th – October 2nd:

New York Times photo of last year's book fair

MoMA/PS1, Book Fair, 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City.  Open September 30th – October 2nd , 11 AM – 7PM

We LOVE the art book fair.  The fair, hosted by Printed Matter, is a stomping ground (or, I guess, a nice, quiet gathering place) for independent publishing, artists’ books, zines, art periodicals, you name it. You can expect to encounter more quality content than you’ll possibly have time to flip through.

October 6th:

George Tooker, "The Subway," 1950 egg tempera on panel

The Whitney MuseumReal/Surreal, October 6 – February 12, 2012

Real/Surreal at the Whitney Museum will feature works from its permanent collection which highlight the overlap between reality and surreality, in that imagination and the subconscious creep into both realms (Charles Sheeler and Edward Hopper are noted as examples). Though this is neither new nor sensational, it is interesting to note that, before museum curators could arrange such exhibitions, the Surrealists were staunch defenders of their borders.  A timeline of Surrealism reveals a long history of manifestos, dissent, and expulsions, including even Magritte and Dali.

October 26th:

Carsten Höller, Mirror Carousel

New Museum, Carsten Höller: Experience, 235 Bowery, October 26th – January 15th.

If Dr.Evil had a lovechild with Dr. No, he would probably be a parody of Carsten Höller. Ex-scientist Höller’s work often resembles clinical funhouses: controlled laboratory experiments, designed to push the limits of logic and perception.  You may remember one work featured here on AFC in which Höller filled a Berlin art museum with reindeer, fed them mushrooms which made their piss hallucinogenic, bottled that piss, and then invited viewers at night to sample a vial.  The catch was that only half of the reindeer were fed mushrooms.

At the New Museum, viewers will be allowed to float in one of Höller’s sensory deprivation pools, or Psycho Tanks.

September – October:

BMW Guggenheim Lab

BMW Guggenheim Lab, Houston at 2nd Avenue.

In case you haven’t noticed, Guggenheim has wedged what looks like a cubular star destroyer in between two buildings in the Lower East Side (evoking this scene in particular). There they are hosting environmental and community team-building events non-stop through the end of October.  You can attend yoga sessions, city-related lectures, and movie screenings.

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