This week, the city hosts an animation block party, a small press flea, and a poetry festival. Plus, don’t miss Hyperallergic’s panel on art and propaganda, a look at the latest projects in art and tech, and more.
Is It Art or Propaganda?
When: Wednesday, July 27, 7pm
Where: Smack Mellon (92 Plymouth Street, DUMBO, Brooklyn)
We live in the age of presidential candidate Donald Trump, which means we also live in the age of anti-Trump art. With more artists making work about and in response to current political events — from the presidential race to police brutality — it’s an apt time to consider the age-old question of where art ends and propaganda begins. This conversation, moderated by Hyperallergic Editor-in-Chief Hrag Vartanian, will take up the query, looking at historical precedents and context along the way.
Robert Wilson’s Epic, Unfinished Work
When: Wednesday, July 27, 7pm (seats available on first-come, first-served basis)
Where: The Artist’s Institute (132 East 65th Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
In 1984, the American playwright Robert Wilson was commissioned to compose a piece of musical theater for the Los Angeles Olympics. While The CIVIL warS: A Tree is Best Measured When it is Down was never staged in its entirety, the filmmaker Howard Brookner documented the making of the performance, which featured Philip Glass and David Byrne, among others. This rarely circulated film is screening at the Artist’s Institute with what will likely be a thoughtful introduction by New Yorker theater critic Hilton Als, who is also currently having an exhibition at the space. —EWA
Building a Black Art Incubator
When: Thursday, July 28, 6–8pm
Where: Recess (41 Grand Street, Soho, Manhattan)
As part of their art world intervention, the women behind the Black Art Incubator — Taylor Renee Aldridge, Jessica Bell Brown, Kimberly Drew, and Jessica Lynne — have planned a stellar set of events over the next few weeks at Recess: discussions of art and money with Lisa Dent of Creative Capital and Lise Soskolne of WAGE, sessions about archiving with artists Kameelah Janan Rasheed and Pamela Council, and more. On Thursday, celebrate the official opening of the community-oriented project with a reception and book swap.
What’s New, INC?
When: Thursday, July 28–Sunday, July 31
Where: The New Museum (235 Bowery, Lower East Side, Manhattan)
Come check out what the members of NEW INC — the New Museum’s incubator tank for thinking and starting up all manner of art, technology, and design projects — have been up to over the past year. The second weekend (August 4–7) will feature a series of sensual performances and installations, while the first weekend will showcase innovative uses of virtual reality in storytelling and a good, semi-old-fashioned market for art, gadgets, and design objects (so bring plenty of bitcoin). —BS
Animation Block Party
When: Thursday, July 28–Sunday, July 31 (ticket prices vary; some events are free)
Where: Various locations around NYC
It’s time once more for the largest animation festival on the East Coast, hosted by Rooftop Films and BAMcinématek. If you’re into animation, plan to carve out a decent amount of time this weekend for the Animation Block Party, which presents a four-day schedule chock-full of shorts, experimental films, animated ads, a selection of the incredible Pink Panther Collection and, in what’s sure to be a big hit, a 30th-anniversary screening of the 1986 Transformers movie in 35mm. Find a full list of the programming here, where you can also purchase advanced weekend passes. —CV
The Return of Jill Kroesen
When: Friday, July 29–Sunday, July 31 ($22)
Where: The Whitney Museum of American Art (99 Gansevoort Street, Meatpacking District, Manhattan)
In the 1970s, Jill Kroesen wrote and staged a number of performances that mashed up “structuralist theater, graphically-scored musical composition, and cabaret.” The works dealt with political and societal systems by way of fable and parody; in one, Kroesen played the USSR, another woman played the US, and the two fought over a boyfriend who represented “the underdeveloped country.” Kroesen disappeared from the art world in the mid ’80s, and it’s only now that she’s making her return. Her new work, Collecting Injustices, Unnecessary Suffering, debuts at the Whitney this weekend, tackling parenting and socialization with her trademark humor and allegory.
Small Press Flea
When: Saturday, July 30, 10am–4pm
Where: Brooklyn Public Library (10 Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park, Brooklyn)
Twenty-nine publishers, including Printed Matter, Ugly Duckling Presse, Litmus Press, and Bomb magazine will gather for this year’s Small Press Flea at the Brooklyn Public Library (come “rain or shine … unless [there’s] an absurd amount of rain”). Head over early, pick up some reading material, and find a shady spot to read in Prospect Park— a perfect way to spend a lazy Saturday.—TM
New York City Poetry Festival
When: Saturday, July 30–Sunday, July 31
Where: Colonels Row, Governors Island
Over 250 poets will convene on Governors Island this weekend with the sixth annual New York City Poetry Festival, organized by the Poetry Society of New York. Three stages will host readings, and there will be alternative interactions as well, such as the roving “Typewriter Project” booth, where you can contribute to a collaborative epic poem. Meanwhile, the Poetry Brothel will take over one of the island’s historic military homes with sultry, candlelit literary readings. —AM
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With contributions by Elisa Wouk Almino, Allison Meier, Tiernan Morgan, Benjamin Sutton, and Claire Voon