Art Rx

Still from Derek Jarman’s “Carravaggio” (1986) (via

This week, we’re covering a lot of ground — from a symposium on the transformation of museums in the age of social media to an exhibition of new ceramic works by Lynda Benglis. You’ve also got a chance to see important films by Derek Jarman and Harun Farocki, and a roundup of all the projects that Eyebeam residents have worked on over the past year. Or maybe you just want to sit back with a drink and hear about the history of partying. Whatever floats your boat. We don’t judge.

 Social Media and Museums

When: Tuesday, January 14, 6:30–9:30pm ($8)
Where: Whitney Museum of American Art (945 Madison Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)

Shared Spaces: Social Media and Museum Structures is a two part-symposium addressing the transformation of the museum in the age of social media. The event will focus on key questions that we ponder often on Hyperallergic, such as:

How does the presence of networked digital devices affect our experience of art in the museum’s galleries? In what ways do these historical shifts in the mediation of our perception reflect our beliefs about the function of the museum in our society? How can we understand the role that the numerous corporate digital platforms utilized by museums and their publics play in the presentation of art?

Speakers at the symposium include Donna De Salvo, chief curator and deputy director of programs at the Whitney; Lauren Cornell, curator at the New Museum; and artists and musician couple Mendi and Keith Obadike.

 The History of Partying

When: Tuesday, January 14, 7 pm
Where: The Bedford (110 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

The Society for the Advancement of Social Studies (or SASS, for short) host free lectures on the second Tuesday of each month. Designed to both “entertain and enlighten,” this week’s talk will focus on the history of partying. (Sample lecture topic: “The Patricians vs. The Plebeians vs. The Pious: Who Partied Hardest in Ancient Rome?”) Pick up some fascinating facts to drop at your next party!

 Derek Jarman’s Carravaggio

When: Tuesday, January 14, 7:30pm ($7)
Where: Light Industry (155 Freeman Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn)

Derek Jarman’s Carravaggio (1986) is in no way a conventional biopic: it consists of cinematic flourishes, oblique references, and wild anachronisms. But as a filmic celebration of Carravaggio’s paintings, it’s unrivaled. Jarman’s theatrical staging and use of light re-create and capture the chiaroscuro for which the Baroque artist is famous. The film’s stellar cast includes Sean Bean, Nigel Terry, Robbie Coltrane, and Tilda Swinton in her first ever onscreen role. This screening will be presented by American literary theorist Leo Bersani.

 Photographs by Richard Barnes

When: Opens Wednesday, January 15
Where: Foley Gallery (97 Allen Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

Richard Barnes, “Murmur #25” (2006) (via

This solo exhibition of Richard Barnes’s photography presents two different bodies of work: Murmur and Refuge. In Murmur, Barnes captures the aerial displays of starlings. The monochrome images focus on the wonderfully architectural forms created by the flocks (how birds fly so brilliantly in such formations remains one of the great mysteries of ornithology). The earlier series, Refuge, features stark images of bird nests, in which the photographer’s fascination with form and tactility is readily apparent.

 A Day in the Life of a Consumer

When: Thursday, January 16, 7:30pm ($5)
Where: Spectacle (124 South 3rd Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Directed by Harun Farocki, A Day in the Life of a Consumer (1993) consists entirely of television advertisements, cut to suggest the passing of a single day from dawn to nightfall. The result is a frantic and unrelenting meditation on the oppressiveness of consumer culture. This screening is part of a broader series at Spectacle celebrating Farocki’s documentary work.

 New Work by Lynda Benglis

When: Opens Thursday, January 16, 6–8pm
Where: Cheim & Read (547 West 25th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

Cheim & Read’s latest exhibition features new works by Lynda Benglis in clay, a medium she began actively using in the 1990s. Rather than being made with the traditional potter’s wheel, these pieces are by “hand-build[t] with tubes and slabs of clay, pinching, stacking, squeezing, pulling and smoothing them into complex sculptural compositions.” From the sounds of it, Benglis has found a way to transgress once again, in a different medium.

 Eyebeam’s Annual Showcase

Zach Blas, “Facial Weaponization Suite” (2011–present). Blas is one of the featured artists in Eyebeam’s 2014 Annual Showcase. (via

When: Opens Thursday, January 16, 6-8pm

Where: Eyebeam (540 West 21st Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

Nonprofit art and technology center Eyebeam always has interesting artists in residence, working on innovative projects. The annual showcase is a great time to see what they’ve been up to, and this year’s will be the last held in their Chelsea space (they’re moving to Brooklyn). In addition to Thursday’s opening, events will be happening throughout the rest of the month, including a Wikipedia Art + Feminism Edit-a-thon on February 1.

 Performative Meditation on Mike Kelley

When: Sunday, January 19, 4–6 pm ($10 advance, $12 day of)
Where: MoMA PS1 (22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, Queens)

As part of MoMA PS1’s Mike Kelley retrospective, Los Angeles–based artist Frances Stark will pay homage to Kelley through a “performative meditation” based in part on her most recent work, a piece in last year’s Carnegie International. Stark’s work is often personal, struggling with the struggle and process of making work — which puts her clearly in the lineage of Kelley, who also happens to have been her teacher.

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