This week, watch a performance of words describing women, learn about the state of LGBTQ rights in Ukraine, rethink domesticity with Rodney McMillan, and more.
A Stage Spectacle with Sheep
When: Opens Tuesday, March 22 (tickets start at $40)
Where: Park Avenue Armory (643 Park Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
The Park Avenue Armory has put together yet another extravaganza. And, as always, it’s hard to tell whether it’s going to be wildly imaginative or straight-up puzzling. The star of De Materie is Dutch composer Louis Andriessen, whose contemporary classical sounds will infuse the visual sets of Heiner Goebbels, also accompanied by a score by Peter Rundel and the International Contemporary Ensemble. The performance seeks to explore the “relationship between matter and spirit,” but also between visual art and sound (with compositions based on Mondrian), and there are more mysterious associations that one can only make out in person — there will be suspended zeppelins and a flock of sheep onstage. —EWA
Words About Women
When: Wednesday, March 23, 6–8pm
Where: Flag Art Foundation (545 West 25th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
In January 2013, I received an email from artist Betty Tompkins asking for “words that describe women. They can be affectionate (honey), pejorative (bitch), slang, descriptive, etc.” Tompkins took the words I sent her, as well as many, many others, and incorporated them into a series of 1,000 small paintings — all of which are now on view at Flag Art Foundation. To accompany them, she and Flag will host a performance wherein 50 people will choose 20 words each to sing, speak, yell, or otherwise perform.
How’s Ukraine If U-Queer?
When: Thursday, March 24, 6:30–8:30pm
Where: Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (26 Wooster Street, SoHo, Manhattan)
What is the state of LGBTQ rights in Ukraine, since the revolution of 2014 and the Russian occupation of Crimea? Filmmaker Marusya Bociurkiw — who will be on-hand for a post-screening Q&A — set out to answer this question, traveling around the country interviewing activists, migrants, and refugees for her feature-length documentary This is Gay Propaganda: LGBT Rights and the War in Ukraine. Bociurkiw’s film parallels her literal journey with her biographic trajectory, growing up queer in Canada and finding precisely the types of safe spaces and communities that she sought out in Ukraine. —BS
Views of Main Street
When: Opens Thursday, March 24
Where: The Studio Museum in Harlem (144 West 125th Street, Harlem, Manhattan)
From torn couches to discarded mattresses, Rodney McMillian is interested in how the private space of the home acts as a lens for socioeconomic realities. The more than 20 domestic objects on view represent different visions of life along a “Main Street,” a quintessentially American place for all to walk and shop on, and a concept that the artist is intent on questioning. —EWA
Extreme Experience Economy
When: Opens Friday, March 25
Where: Postmasters Gallery (54 Franklin Street, Tribeca, Manhattan)
The last time I was at Postmasters for a Jen Catron and Paul Outlaw production, the artists took over the back room with a life-size Monopolart board whose game pieces were huge papier-mâché sculptures of famous art dealers; I sat at a table wearing a blinged-out “critic” sign and had the most fun I’ve had in a gallery in a while. So, I’m pretty damn excited to see what they do for their first solo (well, technically duo) show there. Get ready for some extreme and absurd (and extremely absurd) art-tastic experiences.
Edgar Degas’s Prints
When: Opens Saturday, March 26
Where: Museum of Modern Art (11 West 53rd Street, Midtown, Manhattan)
In his rarely seen monotypes, Edgar Degas renders many of the same subjects as in his famed paintings: ballerinas, women brushing their hair or in the bath. But as the around 120 examples on view will likely show, the marks in his monotypes were more abstract and dramatic, and his interest in light intense as he ventured into new subjects like the sky. Displayed alongside his drawings and paintings, the monotypes will serve to both inform and challenge the Degas most of us know. —EWA
Circuit Scores: Electronics After David Tudor
When: Sunday, March 27, 3–7pm ($10)
Where: School for Poetic Computation (155 Bank Street, West Village, Manhattan)
This promises to be a neat afternoon of experimental sound performances, presented by AVANT.org and Wesleyan University. The program focuses on live circuit-based electronic music, featuring five environmental sound works dedicated to experimental music legend David Tudor. The day will also include a panel discussion and a group audience workshop on Ralph Jones’s “Star Networks at the Singing Point,” described as a “non-linear analogue circuit composition performed in-situ during its own construction.” —CV
When: Monday, March 28, 7pm
Where: Polonsky Shakespeare Center (262 Ashland Place, Fort Greene, Brooklyn)
Some visuals of Shakespeare are as recognizable as the soliloquies, whether Hamlet considering Yorick’s skull, or Lady Macbeth futilely washing phantom blood from her hands. So how do you make graphic design for a new production fresh while connecting to this history? Mirko Ilić and Steven Heller, authors of the recently published Presenting Shakespeare: 1,100 Posters from Around the World, will discuss the art of the Shakespeare poster at the Theatre for a New Audience with an impressive panel including graphic designers Milton Glaser and Paul Davis, and director Julie Taymor, whose imaginative A Midsummer Night’s Dream was staged at the theater. —AM
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With contributions by Elisa Wouk Almino, Allison Meier, Benjamin Sutton, and Claire Voon
Correction: This article originally misstated that the event at Flag Art Foundation would only include women reading words about women. We regret the error, and it has been fixed.