This week, despite the start of summer, we’re feeling a little morbid. Good thing there are events and shows about death all over town: a lecture on the darker side of desire, an exhibition by artist Sophie Calle about her dead mother, and a presentation by a photographer who shot pictures an abandoned NYC quarantine island.
Don’t worry, though: the weekend offers a chance to shake it all off. Consider an Ai Weiwei–inspired walking tour of Chinatown or the return of MoMA PS1’s summer dance party to bring you back to the land of the living.
The Darker Side of Desire
When: Wednesday, June 25, 8pm ($8)
Where: Morbid Anatomy Museum (424A Third Avenue, Gowanus, Brooklyn)
Sex and death have been inextricably linked since the dawn of time: consider the French phrase la petite mort. Visit the Morbid Anatomy Museum tomorrow for an illustrated lecture by Romany Reagan, a PhD candidate at the University of London, touching on Victorian autopsies and the works of Foucault and Bataille. Reagan will examine how sexual arousal in the face of death is “an impulse based on affirmation of life rather than a desire for death.”
Raymond Pettibon and Kim Gordon
When: Wednesday, June 25, 7–8 pm
Where: The Strand’s Rare Book Room (828 Broadway, East Village, Manhattan)
Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon joins artist Raymond Pettibon for a Q&A session to discuss his new book, Raymond Pettibon: To Wit, a catalogue of his show at David Zwirner last year. Created in the gallery, which Pettibon transformed into his temporary studio space, the drawings and paintings cover a broad spectrum of American culture, portraying figures such as Joe DiMaggio and incorporating texts by writers like William Faulkner. Gordon herself released Is It My Body? earlier this year, a collection of her writings on art and music that includes a feature on Pettibon. To attend, buy either a copy of To Wit or a $20 Strand gift card. —CV
Last Chance: Sophie Calle
When: Ends Wednesday, June 25
Where: Chapel of the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest (Fifth Avenue and E 90th Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
Sophie Calle’s exhibition Rachel, Monique was born out of the loss of the her mother, Monique Sindler, who died in 2006. The work focuses on Sindler’s life and final moments, and the exhibition raises difficult questions about grief, celebration, and remembrance. Is it appropriate to turn someone’s death into art? Writing in Hyperallergic Weekend, Thomas Micchelli called it a
serene, whimsical and moving installation, in which a disquieting mixture of love and detachment begins to feel like an embodiment of every fraught relationship, despite the pronounced peculiarities of Calle’s connection to her self-involved mother.
When: Opens Thursday, June 26, 6–8pm
Where: Mike Weiss Gallery (520 West 24th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
This week marks the first solo exhibition of Jerry Kearns’s work since 2006. A member of the art collective PAD/D and a frequent collaborator with writer Lucy Lippard, Kearns is best known for his “psychological pop” paintings. RRRGGHHH!!! will feature eight monumental canvases and five murals painted within Mike Weiss Gallery. Fusing Pop realism, film references, and comic-book imagery, Kearns’s paintings refer both to his own personal history and the popular (and often contradictory) narratives of US culture.
The Vanishing, the Abandoned, and the Obsolete
When: Thursday, June 26, 7:30–10pm ($20)
Where: Nowhere Studios (1582 Atlantic Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn)
Join photographer Christopher Payne as he presents his images of the “forgotten and obsolete.” Payne’s latest publication documents North Brother Island, a former quarantine spot in the East River between the Bronx and Riker’s Island that’s been abandoned for over fifty years. Bereft of people, Payne’s images are a reminder of the speed with which nature perseveres without us. Advance tickets highly recommended.
A Photographic Great
When: Opens Friday, June 27
Where: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
A chronicler of New York life from the 1950s to the 1980s, Garry Winogrand is considered one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century. This week, the Metropolitan Museum of Art opens the first retrospective of his work in over 25 years. Along with showing a 1969 series that Winogrand created within the Met itself, the museum will unveil a selection of images from the photographer’s proof sheets that have never been printed before.
When: Saturday, June 28, 3–9pm (doors open at noon)
Where: MoMA PS1 (22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, Queens)
Now in its 17th year, Warm Up, MoMA PS1’s summer music series, kicks off this weekend. The summer staple brings a packed dance party to the museum’s courtyard. Visitors this weekend can experience the sounds of NY locals A/JUS/TED, Dimitri from Paris, Berlin-based Pantha du Prince, DJ Spoko from South Africa, and London’s Mumdance, all within/around the courtyard installation by New York architecture firm The Living. Also, new this summer, ARTBOOK @ MoMA PS1 will host a coinciding weekend shop around the corner from the museum. —AT
Ai Weiwei Chinatown Walking Tour
When: Sunday, June 29, 3pm ($15)
Where: Meeting location TBA
Join Ryan Wong (aka Joe Scanlan) for a tour exploring the streets, art spaces, and activist history of Chinatown, New York. Focusing on the connection between the neighborhood and Ai Weiwei, Wong will provide a context for the artist’s later work, currently on view in the Brooklyn Museum exhibition Ai Weiwei: According to What?. The meeting spot will be emailed to those who purchase a ticket.
* * *
With listings by Alexandra Taylor and Claire Voon