This week, stare at the sun through an artist’s custom-made masks, enjoy a neoclassical opera based on a series of 18th-century paintings, revisit the 1972 presidential conventions in two DIY documentaries, and more.
Safely View the Sun
When: Tuesday, July 19–Thursday, July 21, every half hour between 6:30 and 8:30pm
Where: High Line at the Rail Yards (West 32nd St and 12th Avenue, Chelsea, Manhattan)
There’s a lot of art happening this summer at the High Line, but one performance that stands out is Eduardo Navarro’s “We who spin around you,” a new participatory work that makes good use of the old rail line’s vantage point. Just before sundown, the Argentinian artist will invite participants to wear a custom-made bronze mask that allows you to safely observe the sun — not as the fiery ball we’re familiar with, but transformed into a dark green sphere. This is an event for science buffs, too, with astrophysicists Jana Grcevich and Summer Ash delivering lectures on solar studies just as the sun dips beneath the horizon. —CV
The Legacy of WPA Art
When: Opens Tuesday, July 19, 6–8pm
Where: Gateway Project Spaces (2 Gateway Center, Newark, New Jersey)
Censorship: The Legacy of WPA Art, Its Messages, and Its Impact looks to be an enormously ambitious (and timely) show that seeks to examine “the historical context around the idea of federal censorship specifically during the time of the WPA [Work Projects Administration] initiative.” The exhibition, which has been organized by the nonprofit Project for Empty Space, opens at Gateway Project Spaces tonight, before traveling to the Frank R. Lautenberg US Post Office and Courthouse next year. —TM
Triangle Shirtwaist Memorial
When: Wednesday, July 20, 6:30–8:30pm
Where: Tenement Museum (103 Orchard Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which claimed 146 victims on March 25, 1911, has been commemorated since 2004 through a grassroots effort to write the name of each person killed outside their former home. This initial project, “Chalk,” inspired artist Ruth Sergel to start the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, which is now working on a more permanent memorial. At this talk, she’ll discuss the process of large-scale social art collaboration, in conjunction with her new book on the Triangle Shirtwaist chalk project, See You in the Streets. —AM
The Rake’s Progress
When: Thursday, July 21, 8pm ($20)
Where: Roulette (509 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn)
If, like me, you’ve never seen the opera The Rake’s Progress, Roulette and the String Orchestra of Brooklyn are offering a golden opportunity this week. Based on William Hogarth’s 18th-century, eight-painting series about the son of a rich merchant who squanders all his money and ends up in Bedlam, the opera was composed by none other than Igor Stravinsky, with a libretto by poet W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman. According to Seth Colter Walls writing in the Guardian, “The Rake’s Progress may not bring on the revolution, though it is a helluva lot of fun.”
Enough Hot Wood to Keep You Up All Night
When: Saturday July 23, 6–11pm
Where: Hot Wood Arts (481 Van Brunt Street, 9B, Red Hook, Brooklyn)
Explore every nook and cranny of this Red Hook studio complex and exhibition space tonight; the 17 current resident artists are opening up their studios, and there will be live music from 8pm onward. But the centerpiece of the evening will be as much of a surprise for you as for the two artists who collaborated on it: Haptic Veil / Present Reaction is an exquisite corpse-style installation created by Sam Horowitz and Garrett Klein, though they never met over the course of its execution. —BS
Brooklyn’s Forgotten Reservoir
When: Sunday, July 24, 10am–12pm
Where: Highland Park (1 Vermont Place, Ridgewood, Brooklyn)
Did you know that, back when Brooklyn was its own city, it built its own reservoir in what’s now Ridgewood, Queens? The Ridgewood Reservoir was constructed in 1858 and supplied water to Brooklyn for 101 years. Decommissioned in 1990, it’s now become mostly forest, home to a wide range of flora and fauna and “an opportune spot for wildlife viewing.” In conjunction with Rebecca Solnit’s Nonstop Metropolis at the Queens Museum, NYC H2O guide Jonathan Turer will lead a walk around the reservoir. Along the way, he’ll consider the past and future of water and power in NYC.
A Forum Against Displacement
When: Sunday, July 24, 12–5pm (free with museum admission)
Where: Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn)
This forum was supposed to take place two weeks ago, but due to an air-conditioning breakdown at the museum, it was postponed. Here’s the wrap on it, once again: Back in November, the Brooklyn Museum rented out its space to the Brooklyn Real Estate Summit, which pissed a lot of people off. The result was a pair of protests on the day of the summit. The outcome of those was a promise from the museum that the activists could plan and host a “People’s Summit on Displacement and Gentrification” at the institution — a promise that was broken, resulting in another protest. Finally, this Sunday, the long-awaited Brooklyn Community Forum on Anti-Gentrification and Displacement will happen, featuring performances, panels, a workshop, and more.
Up Close at the 1972 Conventions
When: Monday, July 24, 4:30pm / 7pm / 9:30pm ($14)
Where: BAM (30 Lafayette Avenue, Fort Greene, Brooklyn)
In 1972, a group of filmmakers and producers got together to form a guerrilla video collective called TVTV. Their first project? Join forces with several other media collectives to film the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, DIY style. The resulting works “were among the first video documentaries to be broadcast” and used on-the-fly footage to intimately capture the behind-the-scenes experience of the conventions. Watch them on Monday night at BAM, as this week’s tense RNC fades from view and the DNC moves into it.
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With contributions by Allison Meier, Tiernan Morgan, Benjamin Sutton, and Claire Voon
I used to take walks around that reservoir with my grandfather when I was very young, late 40s, early 50s. We would walk up the hill and through the park from Cypress Hills, walk around the reservoir then along Interborough Parkway, down through Cypress Hills Cemetary to Jamaica Ave. and back home. No mention of that reservoir can be made without an explanation of Force Tube Avenue.
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