Kurt Vonnegut, “Self-portrait” (February 19, 1985) (image courtesy the Monacelli Press)
Kurt Vonnegut, “Self-portrait” (February 19, 1985) (image courtesy the Monacelli Press)

This week, we’re psyched for the New Museum’s Here and Elsewhere opening, the Kurt Vonnegut reading at the Housing Works Bookstore, Surrealist shorts in Williamsburg, and the Ray Johnson mail art show at MoMA. And just a reminder that it is your last chance to see Louise Lawler at Metro Pictures.

 From the Cloud

When: Tuesday, July 15, 7:30pm and Friday, July 18, 7:30 pm
Where: Spectacle Theater (124 South 3rd St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Spectacle Theater presents two nights of net video art, featuring a range of found footage films by over 15 artists. Included in the program are clips by Daniel Johnson, working with a Justin Bieber music video; Cory Arcangel, known for his video game-related work; and Hennessy Youngman (aka Jayson Musson), whom you may recognize from his cultural criticisms/performances on YouTube. The theater only seats about 30 people, so make plans to arrive early. —CV

 How to Write an Artist Statement

When: Wednesday, July 16, 6-9pm
Where: Mulherin Gallery (124 Forsyth Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

The opening of How to Write an Artist Statement promises to be “a housewarming, an exhibition opening and a birthday party” all in one. Held at gallerist Katharine Mulherin’s new Lower East Side space, the opening also heralds the launch of two new books by artist Eric Doeringer, Autobiography and Collected Works. We’ll be there to check out some of the exhibiting artists, including Doeringer, Bill Burns, Oscar de Las Flores, and Lisa Levy.

 Here and Elsewhere

When: Opens Wednesday, July 16
Where: The New Museum (235 Bowery, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

The newest exhibition at the New Museum, opening this Thursday, borrows its title from the 1976 film by French directors Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin, and Anne-Marie Miéville, Ici et ailleurs (Here and Elsewhere). The “film-essay” was created as a pro-Palestinian piece, but evolved into a work that reflected heavily on the imagery of political consciousness and ethics of representation. Similarly, the show of the same name examines the role of the artist and their image in the context of historical events, specifically in countries we often lump together with the term “Arab World.” Over 45 artists will be on view through September 28. —AT

 Kurt Vonnegut Reading Group

When: Saturday, July 19, 12:30pm
Where: Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (126 Crosby Street, Soho, Manhattan)

“Open to all who are interested” — Housing Works has teamed up with Vonnegut NYC, the New York chapter of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, to host a reading and discussion of Galápagos (1985), the author’s 11th novel. Following a band of humans who’ve survived a devastating disease, the novel examines humanity from an evolutionary perspective. The event will be led by members of Vonnegut NYC, probably a fun (can we predict intense?) group of lit fans.

 Surrealist Shorts

Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, still from "Un Chien Andalou" (An Andalusian Dog) (1929) (via
Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, still from “Un Chien Andalou” (An Andalusian Dog) (1929) (via

When: Saturday, July 19 and Sunday, July 20, 12pm
Where: Nitehawk Cinema (136 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

As part of a broader program Summer of Surrealism, Nitehawk is hosting a screening of classic Surrealist shorts. The line-up includes Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali’s Un Chien Andalou (1928), Man Ray’s L’Etoile de Mer (1928), Germaine Dulac’s La coquille et le clergyman (1928), and Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon (1943). As expected, brace yourself for ants and sliced eyeballs.

 Ray Johnson Designs

Ray Johnson, "Untitled [Strange Devices...]" (c. 1955-1960) (via
Ray Johnson, “Untitled [Strange Devices…]” (c. 1955-1960) (via
When: Continues through Monday, September 29
Where: Museum of Modern Art (11 West 53rd Street, Midtown, Manhattan)

Mail artist Ray Johnson regularly corresponded with staff at the Museum of Modern Art, including curator Dorothy Miller and former library director Clive Phillpot. Ray Johnson Designs focuses on the artist’s early material from the 1950s and 1960s, in particular his work as a graphic designer and illustrator. The exhibition includes some of the first pieces the artist sent to the museum, as well as flyers designed for the Living Theater (the oldest experimental theater group in the US). A must-see for all mail art fans.

 Gilbert & George: Films and Video Sculptures, 1972–1981

When: Continues through Friday, August 8
Where: Lehmann Maupin (201 Chrystie Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

Lehmann Maupin is exhibiting a selection of Gilbert & George’s early video work, described rather wonderfully as “sculpture[s] on video tape,” including the legendary “Gordon’s Makes Us Drunk” (1972), in which the artists drink gin to a soundtrack of Edward Elgar and Edvard Grieg. Cheers!

 Last Chance: Louise Lawler

When: Closes Friday, July 25
Where: Metro Pictures (519 West 24th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

No Drones consists of Louise Lawler’s “tracings,” vinyl reproductions of drawings made directly from the artist’s renowned photographs. Typical of Lawler’s fascination with mediated imagery and the role of cultural context, No Drones features images of famous artworks in situ — in galleries, museums, and dining rooms. Visitors can contemplate how art’s cultural value is expressed by context while playing spot the famous artwork.

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With contributions by Alix Taylor and Claire Voon

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