This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Old School Survival

by Paddy Johnson and Rea McNamara on June 6, 2016 Events

Nan Goldin's "Misty, Taboo! And Jimmy Pauletter dressing, NYC 1991" from The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. Credit:

Nan Goldin’s “Misty, Taboo! And Jimmy Pauletter dressing, NYC 1991” from The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. Credit:

Urban survival, whether it’s the cost of living in New York or even riding along Sag Habour in a self-sustaining houseboat, looms largely in this week’s events. Tonight’s lecture at the Morbid Anatomy Museum suggests that this dates back to Weimar Berlin’s era of anarchy and decadence, where fake fakirs — religious ascetics who live solely on alms — got by with their gnarly nails and pins piercing. Flash forward to Saturday’s MoMA opening of Nan Goldin’s famous 1986 visual diary “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency”, and those piercings became the battle scars of surviving the East Village’s punk bohemia. Today, we’re thankfully more practical in eking out our incomes: we look to the sun and its instruments (see this Thursday’s opening of the “Heliotropes” group show at Geary Contemporary) or envision terrible futures in our analogue pasts (“that old school dystopia” at Theodore:Art on Friday). But sustainability, if we quickly cut to the chase, really involves supporting each other, which is why this weekend’s workshops around the nuts and bolts of artist finances or even writing and editing an artist statement will get you ahead. No need for any physical scars.

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Morbid Anatomy Museum

424 Third Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
7:00 p.m.Website

German Fakirs in Weimar Berlin

A fakir is loosely defined as a Muslim or Hindu religious ascetic who lives solely on alms. But after World War I, fake fakirs emerged on the Berlin variety show circuit, performing fantastical feats like piercing their bodies with nails and pins. Mel Gordon, author of Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin, surveys this rarely-discussed phenomenon, exploring how German fakirs were used by Marxist journalists as so-called counter examples to Therese Neumann, the German Catholic mystic and stigmatic.


Mitchell-Innes & Nash

534 West 26th Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Martha Rosler: If you can’t afford to live here, mo-o-ove!!

A show examining how god-damn expensive it is to live in New York City. For this show, The Temporary Office of Urban Disturbances, an autonomous group formed in May 2016, will take over Mitchell Innis & Nash to present If you can’t afford to live here, mo-o-ove!!. The exhibition will expand on Martha Rosler’s 1989 three-show cycle entitled If You Lived Here…, but will focus on the issues of today: displacement, cost of living, income inequality. A million artists and activist groups are participating in this thing—and by a million we mean 43, which is quite a bit of organizing. The Temporary Office of Urban Disturbances will host four town hall discussions throughout the course of the exhibition, on June 14, 16, 21, and 23 from 6-8 pm. We’ll be there.



333 Broome Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Make Painting Great Again

Trump-inspired political art at CANADA? Not exactly. “Sorry, no Trump here, just another run-of-the-mill summer group show,” confirmed CANADA’s Phil Grauer to ARTINFO. “Although we did borrow the graphic from a well-known political campaign, the show’s content has nothing to do with anything but a group of colleagues showing off what they do best.” But when the line-up includes artists like Katherine Bradford (whose last solo at the LES gallery featuring water and swimmer-focused was a January highlight), this ups the ante on what one expects from “run-of-the-mill summer group show”.

Artists: Katherine Bernhardt, Katherine Bradford, Joe Bradley, Sarah Braman, Matt Connors, Gerald Ferguson, Jason Fox, Daniel Hesidence, Xylor Jane, Sadie Laska, Lily Ludlow, Elena Pankova, Tyson Reeder, Anke Weyer, Wallace Whitney, and Michael Williams


Parrish Art Museum

279 Montauk Highway
Water Mill, NY
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.Website

Mary Mattingly’s WetLand

Heading out of town early this weekend? If you find yourself near the Long Wharf in Sag Harbour, check out the docked modified houseboat by Mary Mattingly, who is best known for creating sculptural ecosystems in urban spaces. Part of the water-focused group show, Radical Seafaring, the vessel contains sustainable projects on board, including solar power, rainwater collection and vegetable gardening. Further, visitors can book by appointment a tour on the boat, and ride along the East End waterways.

Geary Contemporary

185 Varick Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website


A show about the sun and instruments used to reflect the sun. Some of the works are pictorial and gesture to the subject – a disc, an orb, a ray of light. Others are metaphorical, and are often about material exploration as well. There’s a good mix of known artists (William Cordova, Rosemarie Fiore) and rising stars (Marsha Cottrell, Igor Eskinja), so the show’s worth checking out just for the roster alone.

Curated by Matthew Nichols

Artists: James Case-Leal, William Cordova, Angeles Cossio, Marsha Cottrell, Chris Duncan, Igor Eskinja, Rosemarie Fiore, Nicolai Howalt, Owen Kydd, Gustavo Prado, and Hanna Sandin



56 Bogart Street
Bushwick, NY
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Website

that old school dystopia

A group show that envisions a terrible future for all of us visa vi an analogue past. Expect to see photographs, paintings on copper, 3D animation and more from a few Bushwick stars and beyond.

Curated by in association with Wendy Cooper

Artists: Bill Albertini, Lisa Beck, Carolyn Marks Blackwood, Juliette Losq, Ted Haddon, Oliver Wasow, Matthew Weinstein


Essex Flowers

19 Monroe Street
New York, NY
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Website

True Detective Season Three

TV gossip rags tell us that True Detective: Season Three may never come to fruition. We’re here to tell them they’re wrong. Thanks to organizer Sean J. Patrick Carney and New York-based police officer-cum-artist Joe Manco, a third season will exist in the form of a one-night-only pop-up exhibition of new drawings plus an original performance. Manco’s film still drawings come from True Detective seasons one and two—so perhaps that aspect of the show is a bit more like a True Detective Redux, but the performance is all new. The press release promises experimentation. Brace yourself for whatever that may mean from a cop.


Queens Museum

New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Queens, NY
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.Website

Finances and Taxes for Artists

Ander Mikalson is currently artist-in-residence at the Queens Museum, and as part of the institution’s Open A.I.R. Artist Services program, is offering this workshop on finances and taxes for artists. Mikalson, who supports her performance-based practice as a freelance bookkeeper, will run through the nuts and bolts of artist finances, as well as elaborate on alternative models of financial sustainability. If you’re looking for support on budgeting or navigating Obamacare, or wanted to know how you can deal with those student loans, this would be worthwhile to attend.


11 West 53rd Street
New York, NY
10:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.Website

Nan Goldin: The Ballad of Sexual Dependency

Let’s face it, if you’ve been participating in the art world for even a brief period of time, you’ve probably seen Nan Goldin’s slideshow of her friends having sex, doing drugs and going to parades and protests. In fact, you’ve probably seen it several times. But it never gets old does it? That’s how nostalgia works, and this portrait of New York life reminds us of how rich and tough New York life can be.

Curated by Klaus Biesenbach, Rajendra Roy, and Lucy Gallun

Equity Gallery

245 Broome Street
New York, NY
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.Website

Artist Workshop: Writing and Editing Artist Statements 101

A free workshop in which the Whitney Museum’s marketing specialist Shama Rahman teaches artists how to write clear and concise artist statements. If you are an artist GO TO THIS. Every artist statement, no matter how clear, could be made better. Let Rahman help you.


Printed Matter

231 Eleventh Avenue
New York, NY
4:00 p.m.Website

Chang Yuchen: Use Value

What better way to enjoy your Sunday than attending an afternoon runway show? Use Value, it seems, isn’t the name of a solo show, but a brand. The conceptual (and real) brand by artist Chang Yuchen produces “useful handmade commodities.” To wit, the product’s first line are embroidered bags, and the bags’ individual value is calculated based on the hourly rate Yuchen earned as a restaurant hostess, multiplied by how many hours it took her to make each bag, and the additional cost of raw materials. The bags also include a drawing made with silk thread. 

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