This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Massive Insects and the Shadow World

by Paddy Johnson Henry Kaye Andrew Wagner on August 18, 2014 Events

1407938492346This is a low energy week in New York City. Like last week and the week before, there are a handful of arty movies playing around the city. See a documentary about Chinese pollution, a George Kuchar film on the ultra-ordinary, The Royal Tenenbaums, and a documentary on the life of bugs.

If none of this is your bag, we recommend getting out of town. If you haven’t had a chance to get upstate yet, end the week chilling in Storm King with classical music. It’s late August, so treat yourself to art, nature, and free drinks while you still have the chance.

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Asia Society

725 Park Ave
Upper East Side
6:30 PMWebsite

Waking the Green Tiger: Documentaries from the Front Lines of China's Environmental Crisis

China’s explosive expansion has been good for the economy and terrible for the environment. Not all of the effects of Chinese pollution are visible, though. This documentary covers the wide reaching effects of the environmental crisis and China, which are terrifying and hard to halt.

A Q&A with the filmmaker will follow the film.



675 3rd Ave
Upper West Side
3:00 to 8:00 PMWebsite


Chashama’s benefit lauding the forces of gentrification earlier this year basically put all of their programming in question for us, but since there’s almost nothing to list this week, any opening that exhibits art gets a listing with us. This show juxtaposes two time periods; dinosaur illustrations and non-descript buildings that have been pixelated. Also a twenty foot long spear and replicas of the spear. Art pickings are slim.

Light Industry

155 Freeman Street
7:30 PMWebsite

George Kuchar's Secrets of the Shadow World

It’s not possible to see too many George Kuchar films. Secrets of the Shadow World features scary tales of chupacabra, Sasquatch, flying saucers, and the death of film. But is this movie really about the extraterrestrial? According to Light Industry guest curator Amy Taubin, the work’s true focus is on the ultra-ordinary. What such banal scenes as Kuchar eating a sandwich!

Seating is limited. First-come, first-served. Box office opens at 7pm.

Central Park Conservancy

Neil Singer Lilac Walk, Central Park
Between Sheep Meadow and 72nd Street
8:00 PMWebsite

The Royal Tenenbaums

Why does the Royal Tenenbaums get a listing on AFC, over all the other classics screening across the city this week? Remember that scene with Owen Wilson, playing drug addict, sitting on a couch? Over the couch there’s a painting depicting five guys on motorcycles wearing masks. It’s an amazing painting. That’s why it gets a listing. The movie’s pretty good too.


Socrates Sculpture Park

32-01 Vernon Boulevard
Long Island City


Microcosmos is a movie from 1996 and stars really big footage of bugs doing things that bugs do. It’s the sort of thing that should be inherently nightmarish but is somehow really cute. I saw this movie as a kid and remember being blown away, so we recommend parents bring children. The footage is beautiful.


Lisa Cooley

107 Norfolk Street
Lower East Side
6:30-7:30 PMWebsite

Aphasia as a Visual Shape of Speaking: a-production and other language syndromes

Itself Not So is a group show at Lisa Cooley all about aphasia, the cognitive disability that renders patients unable to speak or unable to make sense. It seems right then, that Fia Backström, Swedish text-based artist, will perform her piece dealing with language. We’re not sure what to expect, but Fia’s work in the show got some favorable reviews, so the performance should be good.


The Jewish Museum

1109 5th Avenue
Upper East Side
11:00 AM to 5:45 PMWebsite

Masterpieces & Curiosities: A Russian-American Quilt

An entire exhibition built around the fascination of one quilt featuring Russian folk dancers, a balalaika player and strutting roosters. That’s not all; Admiral Dewey and a Russian peasant guard a pair of American flags, there’s the star of David, and a butterfly a horse and a flower. The show includes ephemera that contextualizes the quilt, as well as works from the Jewish Museum collection that feature Russian motifs or conflate Russian and Jewish traditions. With Russian and American perception of one another constantly changing, this look back to views in the late 19th century should be particularly illuminating.


BAM Rose Cinemas

30 Lafayatte Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217
2:00 PMWebsite

Sans Soleil

BAM continues with its retrospective of the French New Wave director Chris Marker, with this screening of Sans Soleil. Marker was a pioneer of the essay film, which combines disparate footage (documentary, stock images, and more) and blends them all together through voiceover. Not quite a documentary, but also not quite fiction, Marker’s films are the sort of thing that can only be experienced, so don’t miss this one-night-only screening.


Storm King Art Center

Old Pleasant Hill Road
Mountainville, NY 10953
2:00 PMWebsite

Serenade Quartet, H. Peter Stern Concert Series

Honestly, nothing sounds nicer than this on a late August Sunday. The bucolic roaming grounds of Storm King, some of the best classical musicians in New York City, and, as reported now, beautiful weather. This will be very relaxing.

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