This Week’s Must See Events: Fear and Loathing in the Art World

by Rhett Jones on July 25, 2016 Events


Politics, politics, politics. Practically every event we have this week has some sort of political edge. From a video art retrospective dedicated to the political conventions of 1972 to Martha Wilson invading the persona of Trump, the campaign season is infiltrating the exhibition space.

Take a break from being yelled at on Facebook by someone you’ve only met once and hit the gallery. People will surely be more open to a dialogue when they can’t just click unfollow. Right? Right???

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30 Lafayette Ave
Brooklyn, New York
7 PMWebsite

TVTV Program

The Democratic National Convention is upon us and it’s already going off the rails. What better time could there be to revisit the video art/documentary collective TVTV’s coverage of the 1972 political conventions? Richard Nixon (R) and George McGovern (D) were the nominees.

Founded in 1972, TVTV set out with the mission of making pointed political work using the relatively inexpensive video equipment that was just becoming available to consumers. Among the participants were influential video artists like Wheeler Winston Dixon and the Videofreex collective as well as on camera talent that included none other than Bill Fucking Murray.

BAM’s program will show off two films by the collective, one from the DNC and one from the RNC, each clocking in at about an hour. If you think times are tough now, go see what it was like when people were reelecting Richard Nixon.

Microscope Gallery

1329 Willoughby Avenue, #2B
Brooklyn, New York
7:30 PMWebsite

Christopher Harris: Films & Videos

Speaking of sadly topical video work, Christopher Harris hails from Orlando, Florida and much of his practice reflects on identity and race within the Sunshine State.

Tonight, Microscope Gallery will present seven films by Harris, a recipient of a Creative Capital grant in 2015. The artist uses a variety of photographic techniques including pinhole cameras, 16mm film and HD video to reimagine America’s history with slavery, investigate kitschy religious theme parks and update the notorious “Birth of a Nation” for an age in which the police are regularly caught on video murdering black men and women.


Untitled Space

45 Lispenard Street Unit 1W
New York, New York
6 PM - 9 PMWebsite

Lifeforce - A Group Show of 24 Female Artists

It’s an all female group show that explores the feminine aspect of a genderless future. The exhibition promises a reclamation of the often grotesque historical image of femininity in order to imagine the ups and downs of our relationship to our bodies in a cybernetic world.

The stacked lineup of 24 artists features works by some rising stars like Parker Day’s twisted headshots and Jessica Stoller‘s body-horror-ceramics. What may be more notable is the curators inclusion of some very young artists that are just breaking in. Taira Rice is a 17-year-old artist who works with colored pencils to depict her “subjects as monsters or aliens in order to satirize the traditional ideals of femininity.” And Panteha Abaresha is a 16-year-old illustrator who likes to “only draw strong, complex, confident, frightening, gorgeous Women and people of color.” She feels that it’s time “that POC are portrayed in art as the deep, diverse and beautiful characters they truly are.” The children are our future.


Electronic Arts Intermix

535 W. 22nd St. 5th Floor
New York, New York
6:30 PMWebsite

Edited at EAI: Restless Generation

EAI is one of New York’s quieter nonprofits but it does a ton of important work. The 45-year-old video art repository not only preserves some of the more notable and least commercially viable work in contemporary art, it also provides artists with the tools they need to make it.

This series focuses on works that have been made using EAI’s editing facilities. Tonight’s selection will present performance work from the 90’s by female artists like Vanessa Beecroft, Alix Lambert, Kirsten Mosher, Alix Pearlstein, and Beverly Semmes.

Pioneer Works

159 Pioneer Street
Brooklyn, New York
7 PM - 9 PMWebsite

The House in the Sky – Sascha Pohflepp and Chris Woebken

This is just bizarre. Pioneer Works presents a recreation of RAND Corporation strategists Alfred and Roberta Wohlstette’s living room via projections mapped onto its exhibition space. This living room was the site of one of the first American think tanks and served as a space to indulge cold war doomsday theories and utopian plans for the future.

The House in the Sky will restage the historic meetings that took place at Wohlstette’s house with many notable futurist thinkers from today discussing our own modern troubles as well as our place in history. These discussions will be pre-recorded and projected.

Conversation participants: Laura Ballantyne-Brodie (NYU), Lars Büsing (Google DeepMind), Claire Evans (YACHT), Jacob Gaboury (Stony Brook University/Max Planck Institute), Sam Hart (, Janna Levin (Columbia University), Kate Marvel (NASA Goddard Institute), Nicola Masciandaro (Brooklyn College), Oliver Medvedik (Genspace), Gavin Schmidt (NASA Goddard Institute), Kevin Slavin (MIT Media Lab) and Roberta Wohlstetter read by Joan Wohlstetter-Hall as well as contributors Geoff Manaugh (BLDGBLOG) and Phillip Stearns.

Printed Matter

231 11th Avenue
New York, New York
6 PMWebsite

Realize Your Desires : A Conversation on the Underground Press

A pretty straightforward historical exhibition of newsprint materials from the 60’s and 70’s “underground press.” It was a remarkable time when legal restrictions on publishing were loosened and some really visionary design approaches took hold. A panel discussion between publishers, designers and activists will take place during the opening as well.


NEW INC at the New Museum

231 Bowery Street
New York, New York
12 PM – 5 PMWebsite

Public Beta: NEW INC End-of-Year Showcase 2016, Part 1

AFC found a lot to like or at least be hopeful about at last year’s NEW INC demo-day. Thursday the radical New Museum incubator initiative is presenting its class of 2016 and there’s every reason to believe that it will at least be as good as the first.

We will be the first to admit that the “intersection of art and technology” often refers to a limbo world where the art isn’t very successful and the tech is just things lighting up. NEW INC’s approach is to incubate projects from talented and creative people that often has a practical purpose. Since this program is supposed to have a kindof startup mindset we expect “Public Beta” to be a more impressive iteration than last year.


99¢ Plus

238 Wilson Avenue
Brooklyn, New York
7 PM - 9 PMWebsite

The Plant Show

We read a lot of exhibition descriptions that oversell and under-deliver, so let us praise The Plant Show for keeping simple. This tiny gallery is presenting 23 artists working with household objects like a vase or a flower box. A local florist will be supplying plants. And thus you have The Plant Show. Let us also note: plants in contemporary art are trending.


Rabbithole Gallery

33 Washington Street
Brooklyn, New York
7PM - 11 PMWebsite

Modern Storyteller

The artists in Modern Storyteller have been given the freedom to “tell their own stories” through whatever medium or method they choose. What makes this special is that it’s entirely made up of Taiwanese artists and we don’t necessarily get to hear those stories very often in New York. Along with the smorgasbord of work on display, there will be an interactive workshop for visitors to tell their own story and in the evening there will be a party.

Associated Gallery

245 Varet Street
Brooklyn, NY
7 PM - 10 PMWebsite

Feed Me

Having thrown a fundraiser based entirely around art-inspired hotdogs it’s safe to say we like it when people get creative with food. “Feed Me” will showcase a number of artists who are taking a culinary perspective on late-capitalism and social rituals.

****Food and drinks will be served*****
Participating artists: Lindsay Burke – Luisa Caldwell – Ishara Jayakody – Kat JK Lee – Joshua Liebowitz – Paul Outlaw & Jen Catron – Jason Stopa – Rachel Youens


Smack Mellon

92 Plymouth Street
Brooklyn, New York
3 PMWebsite

Martha Wilson as Donald Trump – Politics and Performance Art Are One and the Same

Yes, we all have Donald Trump fatigue but he’s not going anywhere for at least a few more months and the idea of Martha Wilson playing the stubby-fingered, orange man is too good to pass up.

Following the performance, there will be a panel discussion about art and intervention with artists who are making work that has social and political consequence.

Participants include Isabella Cruz-Chong, Brooklyn, New York; Alicia Grullón, Bronx, New York; and lead artist Kate Sopko, Cleveland, Ohio, who will be joined by Maria Miranda, Cleveland, Ohio, a fixer from her project; moderated by Erin Donnelly.

Interference Archive

131 8th Street
Brooklyn, New York
3 PM - 6 PMWebsite

Beyond Prisons Propaganda Party

Do you have some political propaganda to spread? Well, this is the meetup for you. The Interference Archive specializes in collecting the materials that revolve around social movements. Items like stickers, posters, flyers and pamphlets. It’s an entire creative industry that is too often overlooked because the quality by which it’s judged is often whether one is an agreement with the politics.

The Beyond Prisons Propaganda Party will feature new work by some prominent artists (cough, cough, Shepard Fairey) who deal with social justice and the incarceration industry. But, more importantly, the Interference Archive wants anyone who has materials to distribute to come and do so.

Participating artists include: Andalusia Knoll, Josh MacPhee, Mata Ruda, Chip Thomas, Hank Willis Thomas, Ernesto Yerena , Shepard Fairey


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