This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Important Retrospective; Snowden Documentary; AFC Q&A’s

by Whitney Kimball on January 19, 2015 Events

Edward Snowden, far left, with Laura Poitras, far right (Image courtesy of the Guardian)

Edward Snowden, far left, with Laura Poitras, far right (Image courtesy of the Guardian)

The AFC staff features prominently in this week’s art events; Paddy Johnson moderates a panel on gentrification, and I’m doing a Q&A on Beth Heinly’s zines in Philadelphia.

Of secondary importance: an in-person conversation with Academy Award nominee Laura Poitras and a retrospective at the SculptureCenter of “one of the most prominent artists working in Southeast Asia.” And more…


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Silent Barn

603 Bushwick Avenue
7-9 PM Website

Problem Plants: Weeds in Ecology, Art, and Culture (Talk)

What makes the urban weed so successful? At Silent Barn, a mix of artists, biologists, and ecologists will discuss “companion plants,” the wild plants that still manage to grow through the city’s cracks.

Featuring: Ellie Irons, Dr. Amy Berkov, Anne Percoco, Miriam Simun


Temple Contemporary

2001 North 13th Street
6 PM Website

SEPTA Posters: Collector’s Edition Book Launch Q&A

If you’re looking for working-class perspectives and salt-of-the-earth art-making, then you should take a trip to Philadelphia. I will be doing so on Tuesday to talk to performance/comic artist Beth Heinly about her SEPTA zine series, which riffs on the oppressive tone of advertising to the poor. She’s also the organizer of a historically large archive of self-published zines, so I have burning questions!


David Lewis Gallery

88 Eldridge
8 PM Website

Screening: Ah! Sun-flower (three antecendents) (and more)

A truly mystifying event description:

Ah! Sun-flower (three antecedents): Jack Smith, Francis Picabia;

“The Bar at the End of the Night” (II)

Introduced by The Harmers (Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro)

I’m not familiar with the above titles, neither is Google, and the gallery website is down. Organizers can probably bank on the fact, though, that the names Jack Smith and Francis Picabia will draw people out. Go at your own risk.


BRIC Arts Media House

647 Fulton Street
7-9 PM Website

Pioneers! O’ Pioneers! A History of NY Artist Neighborhoods

Whatever our odds of keeping our Brooklyn apartments, there’s no ignoring gentrification any longer. Outpricing has been a part of artists’ living for waves of artist communities— and the communities we’ve helped to displace—for decades. As an overview of this long history, we’ll hear from multiple generations of critics/artists/historians: Irving Sandler of the Ab/Ex 50s; Joyce and Max Kozloff of the Soho 70s; Walter Robinson of the East Village 80s; and Pierogi founder Joe Amrhein of the  Williamsburg 90s. Our boss Paddy Johnson moderates. Free.


Artists Space

38 Greene St, 3rd floor
7 PMWebsite

Laura Poitras in conversation with Bettina Funcke

Line up early to see Academy Award nominee Laura Poitras discuss “CITIZENFOUR”, the third installment of her documentary series the 9/11 trilogy. Now in theaters, the film focuses on the Snowden case. It’s also 97% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Accompanying an exhibition on Poitras’ work, writer and editor Bettina Funcke will ask her about the making of the films.

$5 entry fee; members free and guaranteed entry


Art in General

79 Walker Street
6-8 PM Website

Lily’s Pool

Who knows how much browsing speed and social media has impacted the mass psyche, but you’d have to be blind not to notice its impact on art and writing. “Lily’s Pool” uses physical materials “to grapple with the personal and historical memory of materials in a contemporary society engrossed in the fleeting structure of the digital.” An implication that the digital is outpacing the material world?

Artists: Kaspars Groševs, Ieva Kraule, Kristine Kursiša & Miks Mitrevics, Daria Melnikova, Evita Vasiljeva, and Armands Zelčs



Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art

127-B Prince Street
6-8 PM Website

All True Tomboys

After a lot of blandly esoteric conceptual art ideas and methodical Performance Art (and oh my God, this week is full of them), this picture of tomboy tits looks pretty fucking great. A solo show by feminist/activist painter Christina Schlesinger.


Transfer Gallery

1030 Metropolitan Ave
7-11 PM Website


Apologies for our unapologetic favoritism, but Transfer is one of the very few digital art galleries in the city, and we like net art. Once again, they’re having an opening; this time it’s Jamie Zigelbaum, whose show includes a room-filling, algorythimically-generated video installation and a television cut into 40 pieces. We will see this first and understand later.


44-19 Purves Street
Long Island City
5-7 PM Website

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook

We’re not very familiar with Thai artist Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook’s sculpture, but the phrase “one of the most prominent artists working in Southeast Asia”– especially in the respectable opinion of the SculptureCenter– grabs our attention. We have seen one particularly smart video series in which Rasdjarmrearnsook asks Thai villagers, sitting in fields, to interpret Western paintings by artists like Renoir and Van Gogh. It’s the best piece I’ve ever seen at an art fair. Her first-ever U.S. retrospective will revolve around imagery of corpses, animals, Jeff Koons sculpture, and Buddhist monks.

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