This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Humor, Sleaze, and Community

by Corinna Kirsch and Whitney Kimball on November 18, 2013 Events

Michael Smith as Baby Ikki, from his 2009 collaboration with Mike Kelley at the SculptureCenter (Image courtesy of

Michael Smith as Baby Ikki, from his 2009 collaboration with Mike Kelley at the SculptureCenter (Image courtesy of

For those of you who didn’t get tickets to Performa, we’ve got more local alternatives. We’ll have a day of humor and sleaze for Mike Kelley; a show for cyberpunk kids; and a handful of events involving important TV artists. Group Material co-founder Julie Ault will show us the meaning of collaboration, and at the Kitchen’s benefit, we’ll show the meaning of giving. And Clifford Owens is doing that performance again where he does whatever the audience tells him to, so watch out for him.

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Light Industry

155 Freeman Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222
7:30 PM Website

Yvonne Rainer's Lives of Performers, Introduced by Gregg Bordowitz

Lives of Performers,  Yvonne Rainer’s first film, brings together fact with fiction. Scenes from her dance performances splice together with melodramatic scenes of mean lovers at play. Pretty much, it’s about a guy who can’t decide between two women, leaving him with just one option: Be a jerk to both. It’s followed by a one-on-one conversation between Gregg Bordowitz and Yvonne Rainer.

The Kitchen

512 West 19th Street
New York, NY 10011
7– 9 PM cocktails and silent auction; 8 PM live auction with Gabriela Palmieri of Sotheby’s; tickets $150.Website

The Kitchen Benefit Art Auction

It looks like the Kitchen’s not running a three-ring circus for its benefit, because it shouldn’t have to. They show some of the greatest artists in the world, there’s not enough arts funding, and this is one of too-few venues for performance art. Support them!



Derek Eller

615 West 27th Street
New York, NY 10001
6 - 8 PMWebsite

William DeLottie, Alicia Gibson, Adrianne Rubenstein

This past Saturday, Derek Eller closed a solo show of recent work by the seventy-something artist Karl Wirsum; hands down, it was one of the most inventive painting shows I’ve seen in a while. It’ll be a hard show to follow up, but I’m willing to see how high they’re setting the bar. This show should be similar enough to the Wirsum’s—all three artists make goofy, figurative work. Unlike Wirsum, whose characters all share in the same style, they’re still youthfully flirting with various styles of how to paint the world of things.

Third Streaming Gallery

10 Greene Street
New York, NY 10013
7:30 PM - 9:30 PMWebsite

Clifford Owens: “Come to Me"

On Friday, find out if Owens is really down to do anything in the name of art. Owens will be performing throughout the week at Third Streaming, and Friday’s edition looks to be the trickiest. Attendees are required to arrive with an an object, a text, or an instruction for Clifford to perform. This is the same sort of open-ended instruction-based art that got Owens in trouble last year when he announced he “planned to force a sex act on an audience member”— because one of the written instructions said so.

E.S.P. TV (La Sala )

58 North 3rd St
Brooklyn, NY 11249
7 PM - 2 AM; $10 at the doorWebsite

Screening: Among Others! Christopher Stackhouse, Dan Machlin, Jon Fried, Michael Ruby, Sam Truitt, Sharon Mesmer "JFK (Necrosis) Jubilee

E.S.P. TV continues its program of public access show; taped live, you never know what could happen, but we can guarantee you it’ll be like nothing else on TV. This episode includes: among others!, Christopher Stackhouse, Dan Machlin, Jon Fried, Michael Ruby, Sam Truitt, Sharon Mesmer “JFK (Necrosis) Jubilee” curated by Kimberly Lyons.


Artists Space

38 Greene St #3

Macho Man

For a history of art that has not a wink to do with the art market, there’s Macho Man. Organized by the art collective Group Material’s co-founder Julie Ault, the show will be composed of over 200 works from her personal collection—works that came to rest with Ault through gifts or collaboration, not a checkbook. Artists include those from Group Material like Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Tim Rollins, but pretty much anyone who ever came into contact with the collective:  Nayland Blake, Andres Serrano, Carrie Mae Weems, John Currin, Sadie Benning, Moyra Davey, Leon Golub, Jenny Holzer, Cindy Sherman, and Roni Horn. In keeping with Group Material’s emphasis on collaboration, the show has been organized by herself and a range of artists and curators (Martin Beck, Nikola Dietrich, and Danh Vo, among others) alongside Julie Ault.

Smack Mellon

92 Plymouth Street
November 23 - January 5, 2014
5-8 PMWebsite

Roots No Shoots

If you like the public access programming over at ESP TV, then there are a few shows you might want to check out. Along with the current show of public access forefather Jaime Davidovich at Churner & Churner, Smack Mellon has an installation of work by the collaborative duo LoVid. The work is from their 2011 residency at the Experimental TV Center, the last of that space’s residencies.

Smack Mellon will also be showing German sculptor Andrea Loefke, with an installation about extreme weather.


PS1 VW Dome

22-25 Jackson Ave. at the intersection of 46th Ave.
Long Island City
2-6 PMWebsite

"On Humor", featuring Blowfly and Michael Smith

It’s no surprise that Mike Kelley was a fan of the campy-dirty-funky rapper Blowfly and AFC fave Michael Smith, aka, Baby Ikki (who’s known for walking around in a gallery in a diaper til it’s so uncomfortable that it’s not even funny). Prepare to get awkward.

Before that, Michael Smith will join Jayson Musson and Mark Beasley in a panel to discuss Kelley’s work.


Team Gallery

83 Grand Street, 47 Wooster Street, New York
6 - 8 PMWebsite


Cyberpunk is alive and well in Tabor Robak’s shiny, digitally rendered landscapes. Skyscrapers peek through the poisonous fuschia fog, set amid what could be Future Tokyo. Weapons straight out of video games get the glamour treatment. In all these seemingly airless scenarios, there’s no sign of human life. I haven’t quite wrapped my head around Robak’s bifurcated version of the world to come—for a future that’s so bleak, it looks so good—but I’m intrigued enough by the work to want to figure that out.


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