This week, kinetic cinema, fuck paintings, drones, art inspired by Ebony and Jet, a queer birthday party, cemeteries in Kyrgyzstan, and more. In other words, just another week in NYC.
Cities of the Dead: The Ancestral Cemeteries of Kyrgyzstan
When: Wednesday, November 12, 7-8:30pm
Where: St. Mark’s Bookshop (136 East 3rd Street, East Village, Manhattan)
Artist Margaret Morton is presenting a slide lecture of photographs from her new book, Cities of the Dead (2014, University of Washington Press), an examination of abandoned cemeteries in Kyrgyzstan:
Architecturally unique, Kyrgyzstan’s dramatically sited cemeteries reveal the complex nature of the Kyrgyz people’s religious and cultural identities. Elaborate Kyrgyz tombs combine earlier nomadic customs with Muslim architectural forms. After the territory was formally incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1876, enamel portraits for the deceased were attached to the Muslim monuments. Yet everything within the walls is overgrown with weeds, for it is not Kyrgyz tradition for the living to frequent the graves of the dead.
Betty Tompkins: Smooch
When: Opens Thursday, November 13, 7-9pm
Where: 55 Gansevoort (55 Gansevoort Street, Meatpacking District, Manhattan)
Smooch, on view through December 13, will be a bi-weekly rotation of two Kiss paintings by artist Betty Tompkins. The artist is best known for her photorealistic “Fuck Paintings”, first produced in the late sixties. Despite the legalization of pornographic imagery, Tompkins’ paintings were seized by French custom officials in 1973. Despite regularly running afoul of censors, Tompkins has managed to enjoy a resurgence of art historical interest in her work. Check out Hyperallergic’s last review of the artist’s work here.
Surveillance Photography: Personal, Public and Profit
When: Thursday, November 13, 7-9pm
Where: School of Visual Arts (209 East 23 Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
The debate regarding the public use of drones rages on. Late September, a judge fined a tourist $3,000 for crashing a drone into a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park (this followed a ban by the National Park Service earlier in the Summer). Drones are even being used for target practice (as this bizarre YouTube clip demonstrates).
This Thursday, the SVA is hosting a free public panel discussion examining privacy in the age of camera phones and drone use. The panel coincides with the exhibition Talking a Closer Look at Surveillance Culture Through Photography, on view at the Open Society office in New York through May 2015.
Kinetic Cinema & David Fishel
When: Thursday, November 13, 7:30pm
Where: Spectacle Theater (124 South 3rd Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
Filmmaker David Fishel hosts an evening of clips exploring the concept of “Kinetic Cinema,” in essence the idea of “cinema as dance and editing as choreography.” Fishel is best known for Exquisite Corpse (2004) a series of sequences dictated by the whims of a randomized DVD. The event is part of a wider series by Pentacle’s Movement Media in which artists are invited to explore the notion of movement in cinema.
Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet and Contemporary Art
When: Opens Thursday, November 13
Where: The Studio Museum in Harlem (144 West 125th Street, Harlem, Manhattan)
Speaking of People brings together work by contemporary artists who have been influenced by or have used copies of Ebony and Jet — both magazines published by the Johnson Publishing Company — in their work. Billed as the first show to explore the topic, the concept itself sounds interesting, with the show promising to explore “the concept of these iconic publications and their institutional histories.” The exhibition’s 16 participating artists include Ellen Gallagher, Theaster Gates, Glenn Ligon, Kerry James Marshall, Lorna Simpson, and Mickalene Thomas.
A Painter and His Poets: The Art of George Schneeman
When: Ends Saturday, November 14
Where: Poets House (10 River Terrace, Financial District, Manhattan)
For the final day of A Painter and His Poets, the first retrospective of George Schneeman’s work, Poets House have organized a trio of closing events, including a seminar and closing reception. This Saturday between 3–6pm, exhibition co-curator Bill Berkson is holding a seminar on artistic collaboration. From 6pm, Poets House will host a closing reception which also coincides with the launch of New York School Painters & Poets: Neon in Daylight, a new book by Jenni Quilter. Before you go, be sure to check out Hyperallergic Weekend’s review of the exhibition by poet and writer Tim Keane.
A Queer Birthday
When: Saturday, November 14, 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation, but no one will be turned away for inability to pay)
Where: The LGBT Community Center (208 West 13th Street, Room 210, West Village, Manhattan)
Two years ago, the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division was born at the Lower East Side’s Strange Loop Gallery. Now they’re celebrating by having a party at The LBGT Community Center hosted by comedian Drae Campbell and featuring Lady Quesa’Dilla, Joseph Whitt, Tommy Pico, and DJ Shomi Noise. Come out and support a great group which “seeks to excite and educate a self-confident, sex-positive, and supportive queer community by offering books, publications, and art and by hosting readings, performances, film screenings, book discussion groups, and workshops.”
Duane Hanson’s Reality
When: Through Wednesday, December 3
Where: Gagosian (821 Park Avenue, Murray Hill, Manhattan)
Gagosian is currently exhibiting Duane Hanson’s “Security Guard” (1990), the artist’s life-size, hyper-realistic sculpture of, yep, you’ve guessed it, a security guard. The work is currently standing alone at Gagosian’s Park Avenue space. We’re awaiting the inevitable (and elicit) Instagrams of living gallery guards guarding the artwork guard.