This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Roleplay Edition

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on March 28, 2016 Events

Cao Fei's photographs of Chinese cosplayers, among other works, will be on view at MoMA PS1 starting Sunday.

Cao Fei’s photographs of Chinese cosplayers, among other works, will be on view at MoMA PS1 starting Sunday

Spring is in the New York air, and with it, a sense of fantastical possibility. Tuesday, head to BRIC to hear from powerful women in the music industry who overcame the glass ceiling to live the dream. Wednesday, Simone Subal Gallery has a show of reality-warping paintings and Thursday the New Museum is hosting a panel discussion with artists who try to do it all. Friday night, Nic Rad’s solo show at Victori + Mo imagines an art-historical alter ego to combat zombie formalism with Ab-Ex passion and millennial pop references. At Bannerette, Ash Ferlito and Clare Torina explore the potentials of oil and other media in a playful two person show. End the night drinking maybe-imaginary beer at Brooklyn’s ALL WHITE MALE ART SHOW (don’t worry, that name’s just a fantasy too).

But the weekend is where things get really surreal: Saturday is an all-day virtual reality team hackathon that invites visitors to construct their own immersive dreamscapes using a high-tech installation at Storefront for Art and Architecture. Sunday, Cao Fei gets her first museum show in the US at MoMA PS1. Expect photos of live-action-roleplaying Chinese anime fans and narratives from her Second Life avatar.

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647 Fulton St
Brooklyn, NY
7:00 p.m.Website

The Stoop Series: Breaking the Glass Ceiling; A Conversation with Women Executives in the Music Industry

I can’t say I recognize the names of any of the executives in this talk, which is almost certainly the result of being stuck in an art bubble. We recommend bursting that bubble. The last talk we say at BRIC focused on gentrification and was literally the best discussion we saw that year. This discussion includes Leota Blacknor VP, Urban Marketing & Label Acquisitions at Caroline Records; Katie Schlosser, Head of Label Relations for North America at Spotify; Nicole George-Middleton, Vice President of Membership, Rhythm & Soul, at ASCAP; and others. The discussion will be moderated by Anastasia Wright, owner of communications company IMG Agency, and Executive Director of Minds Behind the Music, Inc.


Simone Subal Gallery

131 Bowery
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Surface Tension

No information what this show is even about exists on any listings we’ve seen or the gallery’s website. But, Margot Bergman’s fucked up portrait titled Lulu, in which she renders a face within a face has us curious. And we’ve written about Gavin Kenyon before—he offers a similarly bleak view of humanity with his homicidal axes and plaster beef carcasses. We don’t expect this show to offer much of a “pick me up”.

Artists: Margot Bergman, Anna Glantz, Philip Hanson, Gavin Kenyon, Grace Weaver


New Museum

235 Bowery
New York, NY
7:00 p.m.Website

First Look: SOPHIE Presents Pupture


Let’s start off by acknowledging that yes, the photo for this event is a terrifying-looking sex toy. But perhaps that’s an apt metaphor for the often uncomfortable challenges (or rewards?) faced by artists who want to have their fingers in all the pies. Artist/music producer SOPHIE will be hosting this panel discussion on the idea of “synthesis” in one’s artistic practice. There’s a great line-up of genre-blurring artists invited: Gerry Bibby, Hayden Dunham, FlucT, Matthew Lutz-Kinoy, and Henrik Oleson. If you’re interested in collaboration, sculptors becoming dancers becoming video artists, and the crossover between the worlds of music and visual art, this is the talk for you.


Victori + Mo

56 Bogart St
Brooklyn, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Nic Rad: Perennial Millennial

Expressionist mark-making, an overload of accumulated found objects and symbols, absurd text—there’s a lot going on in Nic Rad’s colorful canvasses. And they’re bigger than they look in photos, some are as tall as the artist himself. Rad’s equally colorful artist statement is larger-than-life, featuring a mythological hybrid of Ab-Ex legends, “Jackson Johns”, who returns from exile in the midwest as a millennial in order to do battle with zombie formalism, and this anecdote from AFC’s very own SPRNG BRK Fundraiser:

“Last week at Otto’s Shrunken Head, just before the Man Boob competition, and right after Carol Cole gave a nice speech about her work and journey as an artist, William Powhida was telling me about his upcoming museum show, based 50 years in the future. ‘Maybe all shows from now on should be genre shows,’ he told me. Yes dude! Maybe they already are.”


52 Tompkins Ave,
Brooklyn, NY
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Website

Everybody’s Fool

This is a two-person show from Ash Ferlito and Clare Torina that’s likely to be a little bit cute, a little bit funny, and peppered with moments of unexpected poignancy. We’re not sure what will be on display here, but Ash Ferlito works in a variety of 2D and 3D media—from embroidery and papier-mâché to oil painting—with a sensitivity to different materials’ graphic qualities and how those might construct an image (or not). Clare Torina is a painter whose compositions might include elements of naïve still life, patterning, cartoon-like illustration, and provisional painting. They have a goofy quality that feels calculated without coming across as flippant, and they’re really, really enjoyable to look at. 

272 Seigel

272 Seigel St,
Brooklyn, NY
7:00 p.m.- 1:00 a.m.Website


This April Fools themed show gets inclusion just for its appropriately deliberately misleading title. A quick skim of the invite reveals no familiar names, but we’re going because the event promises affordable works such as multiples and bottomless beer (while supplies last) for $5. Then again, it is an April Fools show and “Free Beer” is the oldest trick in the book. Crap. Did I just fall for that?

Audrey Lyall, Allin Skiba, Sarah Aineb, Astrid Terrazas, Lorra Barile, Nikki Freyermuth, Cordelia Trupin, Janice Taylor, Jem Kurbanova, Kate Sherman, Safat Ara, Mallory Smith, Helen Warren, Ben Evans, Jonell Josiah, Jeremy Wood, Ruojin Wang, Moran Smithwick, Tessa Kerpan, Mars Murray, Justine Reyes, Sunny Pojdl, Jacob Consenstein, Tyler Schoeber, Savannah Galvin, Amira Hasib, Sinjun Strom, Maddy Franklin.


Storefront for Art and Architecture

97 Kenmare St
New York, NY
11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Some More World Games: Virtual Reality Hackathon

The future is now and it’s pretty damn cool.

The Storefront for Art and Architecture has a VR installation from Farzin Farzin up right now that comprises a custom headset affixed to a track on the ceiling. Visitors can use this to navigate a wholly immersive world. But Saturday, teams are invited to spend the day creating their own environments which will be displayed at the end of the hack-a-thon. If you’d like to participate, register now—space is limited to 20 people.



11:00 am – 11:15 am – Introductions with lead hackers; tour of installation

11:15 am – 11:30 am – Overview of assets; team assignments

11:30 am – 2:30 pm – Breakout hacking and world creation

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm – Break

3:00 pm – 5:30 pm – Projects uploaded to headsets; testing on track; group troubleshooting

5:30 pm – 6:00 pm – Break

Public Presentation

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Public presentation and testing followed by Q&A and wine reception

With team leaders: Kaho Abe, Ezio Blasseti, Nick Fox-Geig, Tims Gardner, Farzin Lotfi-Jam, Ramsey Nasser, Daniel Perlin, Dan Taeyoung, George Valdes + team



22-25 Jackson Ave.
Long Island City, NY
12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Website

Cao Fei

How is it possible this is the first museum show in the US for artist Cao Fei? She’s been an art star for at least 10 years. In any event, we’ve got one now and it will look at the work she’s made over the last twelve years. In her 2004 piece “Cos Players” Fei created a surrealist plot and invited Cos Players—Chinese groups of young people that gather to dress up as imaginary Japanese anime characters—to enact it. In 2007, she spent over a year in Second Life as her avatar “China Tracy” to produce a three part documentary on life in the city. Expect to see all this work and more in the show. 

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