This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Have Your Cake & Smash It Too

by Michael Anthony Farley on February 6, 2017 Events

Jen and Paul

Video still from Jen Catron and Paul Outlaw’s piece for the show “Cake Hole” at Mrs. We can’t wait to see the context for this!

Welcome to the new normal. We at AFC have noticed a decline in artistic output from Brooklyn’s DIY scene as of late, while commercial galleries and institutions in Manhattan (and a few in Queens) have been gearing-up for battle mode with politically-charged programming. We’re hoping this is because everyone in Brooklyn is too busy thinking about resistance, and not because they’ve fled the country.

Tuesday night, The New School is hosting a talk about female bodies online, and Wednesday, the New Museum is opening a massive Raymond Pettibon show. After checking it out, head down the block to ICP, where curators will be discussing the loaded Perpetual Revolution: The Image and Social Change. More talks will come Thursday, such as the Brooklyn Museum’s call to defend immigrants and the Flux Factory/ABC No Rio potluck/opening/discussion about artists’ mutual aid in times like these. Friday night, take a break from political angst to get lost in the dreamy paintings of Jordan Kasey at Nicelle Beauchene, or the likely dreamier office set E.S.P. TV has staged at Pioneer Works. The weekend brings more great art and opportunities for creative resistance: be sure to check out the Queens Museum’s event to build climate change resistance coalitions between artists and activists.

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Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall, The New School

55 West 13th Street
New York, NY
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Website

On Feminism, Our Bodies Online

If you’re a cyberfeminist who’s ever been banned from Instagram, or anyone who has run in the art-school circles of Tumblr, this talk’s for you. Join female net artists for a conversation “on how women wield images of their bodies online as a tool of power and/or as sexual objectification, exploring the question of who is allowed to use their body in this way.” That’s a loaded question, one that’s certainly divided many feminists of different schools of thought. This ought to get juicy.

Panelists: Johanna Fateman, Ann Hirsch, Amanda Hunt, André Singleton, moderated by Carmen Winant


New Museum

235 Bowery
New York, NY
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Website

Raymond Pettibon: A Pen of All Work

Fans of Raymond Pettibon, rejoice! Curated by Gary Carrion-Murayari and Massimiliano Gioni, this will be the first major museum retrospective dedicated to artist who defined so much of punk’s visual culture. For decades, Pettibon has caricatured American culture, from its naive idealism to counterculture rebellions to the fucked-up mess that is today. Hundreds of pieces spanning the artist’s career will be here, as will a fully-illustrated catalog. To any secret admirers out there, that’s a dream Valentine’s Day gift.

International Center of Photography

250 Bowery
New York, NY
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.Website

Curators' Talk: Perpetual Revolution; The Image and Social Change

ICP’s exhibition Perpetual Revolution: The Image and Social Change has been generating quite a bit of buzz in our circles due to its timely focus on imaging political issues from protests to climate change. Opinions seem to be mixed about the show, but that should make this talk even more compelling. I’m particularly interested in the collection “The Right-Wing Fringe and the 2016 Election.”

Curated by Cynthia Young, Carol Squiers, Susan Carlson, Claartje van Dijk, Joanna Lehan, Kalia Brooks, Quito Ziegler


Brooklyn Museum

200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.Website

Defending Immigrant Rights: A Brooklyn Call to Action

The Brooklyn Museum is partnering with the Brooklyn Community Foundation to present this meeting about the crisis wrought by Trump’s terrible immigration policies. This is probably one of the most important things you could be doing in a museum this week.

With Linda Sarsour, Arab American Association of New York; Murad Awawdeh, New York Immigration Coalition; Carl Lipscombe, Black Alliance for Just Immigration; Lisa Schreibersdorf, Brooklyn Defenders Services; and Nayim Islam, DRUM/Desis Rising Up and Moving. Moderated by Cecilia Clarke, President and CEO of Brooklyn Community Foundation. Panelists represent community-based organizations funded through the foundation’s newly established Immigrant Rights Fund. Presented in collaboration with the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art.

Flux Factory

39-31 29th Street
Queens, NY
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.Website

Against Competition/Towards Mutual Aid

Legendary L.E.S. punk cultural center ABC No Rio is in exile while their structurally unsound former home is rebuilt. Fortunately, Long Island City’s Flux Factory is hosting events co-presented by the Manhattan institution while it’s temporarily homeless. I can’t think of a better working arrangement for two art spaces to present this show.

The premise of  Against Competition/Towards Mutual Aid is that artists need to work together (in many different senses) rather than competing, as the capitalist system would have us believe. This exhibition is the result of collaborations that involved idea, tool, or skill sharing across disciplines. The opening features a potluck and the panel discussion Artist as Ally.

Artists: Razan AlSalah, Rachel Brown, Lee Brozgol, Kerry Cox, Elizabeth Demaray, Rachel Haberstroh, Robert Hieger, Rachel Hillery, Christopher Lin, Jemila MacEwan, Firoz Mahmud, Liz Naiden, Anatole Hocek, Patrícia Silva, Alex Strada, Julieta Triangular, Moira Williams, Ariel Zakarison, Joanie Fritz Zosike.

This project is organized by ABC No Rio Visual Arts Collective members Vandana Jain, Mike Estabrook, Brian George, and Steven Englander, and Flux Factory Artists-In-Residence Eleni Theodora Zaharopoulos and Christina Freeman.

The Kitchen

512 West 19th Street
New York, NY
8:00 p.m.Website

Raúl De Nieves & Colin Self : The Fool

Raúl De Nieves and Colin Self are two of New York’s best genre and gender bending visual artists. I can only imagine what this performance—a four-part chamber opera—is going to look like. Both artists’ practices flirt with fashion, music, drag, and a variety of media and aesthetics. An opera sounds like the perfect synthesis of all of the above.

Starring Colin Self as the Old Woman, Raúl De Nieves as The Fool and the Dog, Alexandra Drewchin as the Child, and Mehron Abdollmohammadi as the Mother. Organized by Matthew Lyons.


Nicelle Beauchene Gallery

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

Jordan Kasey: Exoplanet

I’ve been fortunate enough to have spent a lot of time looking at Jordan Kasey’s work. In Baltimore, I’ve lived close to several of her murals, and I’ve always found them haunting. Her paintings have an eerie quality—forms are rendered with a variety of individual spatial logics, meaning figures or objects might pop out from the surface or float in ambiguous planes. They’re the type of painting that remind me why seeing the medium IRL will never be obsolete.

Pioneer Works

159 Pioneer Street
Brooklyn, NY
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.Website


E.S.P. TV, the collaborative mobile television program from Scott Kiernan and Victoria Keddie, is giving Pioneer Works a screen-ready makeover. They’ve relocated all of the art space’s offices and workers to the main gallery, where the organization’s 9-5 work will take place in a film set version of their office. This includes bluescreens and other interventions that sound like the space will feel a bit like a soap opera. Knowing what the nonprofit art world is like, we’re expecting this to be pretty entertaining.


Gavin Brown's enterprise

291 Grand St
New York, NY
12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.Website

Bjarne Melgaard & Bjørg: The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment

Who knows what to expect from this show? Gavin Brown’s website features a flyer promising a “new streetwear collection” and “sex booths”, along with this video, which compels us to “ESCAPE THE ENDLESS OPTIMISTIC SPIRIT” and CGI porn of Jar-Jar Binks fucking Queen Amidala (or perhaps one of her lookalike bodyguards?) Whatever this exhibition is going to look like, we’re prepared for a healthy dose of Melgaard’s dark comedic sensibility. Maybe some good-old-fashioned gallows humor is just what we need.

chashama 266

266 West 37th Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.Website

Vita Eruhimovitz: Alternative Facts

What a well-named exhibition! The subjectivity of reality has never been a more hot-button issue, and Eruhimovitz’s work fits nicely into the discourse of false promises. Her sculptures and multi-media pieces address synthetic landscapes, idealized lifestyle branding, and pastoral romanticism in consumer culture. Appropriately, in a month when our EPA has been gutted, these fantasies and objects of desire speak “to the beauty of technological advance and toxic waste.”


60-40 56th Drive
Queens, NY
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Website

Cake Hole

The event description here features a surprisingly interesting history of cakes in western civilization from Jennifer Coates. If that’s any indication, a show all about cakes might be as smart as it is fun-sounding. Mostly, we’re looking forward to seeing whatever perpetual AFC favs Jen Catron and Paul Outlaw have cooked up. They never disappoint.

Artists: Jen Catron and Paul Outlaw, Robert Chamberlin, Caroline Wells Chandler, Jennifer Coates, Will Cotton, Gary Komarin, Aubrey Levinthal, Tracy Miller, Walter Robinson, Amy Stevens, Mie Yim

Presented in collaboration with Doppelgänger Projects


Queens Museum

New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Queens, NY
2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.Website

Care as Culture: Artists, Activists and Scientists Build Coalitions to Resist Climate Change

Facilitated through Mierle Laderman Ukeles’ “Peace Table,” this discussion invites artists and activists to share strategies for combating the ever-worsening threat of climate change. This will kick-off with case studies from the field. Now that we basically have to operate on the assumption that the federal government is doing the opposite of preventing the looming disaster, it’s up to us plebes to figure something out.

Presenters include Newton Harrison, The Natural History Museum, Natalie Jeremijenko, and Mary Mattingly. Respondents include Carol Becker, Francesco Fiondella, Allan Frei, Hope Ginsburg, Alicia Grullon, Amy Lipton, Lisa Marshall, Jennifer McGregor, Aviva Rahmani, Jason Smerdon, Stephanie Wakefield, and Marina Zurkow.

Lesley Heller Workspace

54 Orchard Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

A Room Behind A Room: Recent Trends in Video Art

Curated by Lenore Malen, this show surveys diverse approaches to using ever-more accessible digital video techniques. This includes Jun Hee Mun’s experiments with Freeware, and a piece from Ingrid Zhuang (pictured) in which the artist’s severed body navigates a video-gamescape of mutant genetically engineered foods.

Artists: Sarah Lasley, Jung Hee Mun, Alona Weiss, Ingrid Zhuang.

Leslie Heller is also opening two other exhibitions that night: Monika Zarzeczna’s Recent Sculptures in the front gallery and Struck Off Center, curated by Brigitte Mulholland in the workspace. That show includes work by Jeff Fichera, Dan Gratz, Emily Hass, Clinton King, Raphael Zollinger, Vidvuds Zvedris

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