Dumbo Arts Festival returns this weekend (Friday, September 28–Sunday, September 30) for a cross-cultural moshpit of multimedia exhibitions, events, performances, and installations.
My repeated hesitance accepting the Dumbo art scene as not forced into existence by a real estate development company and its lack of organic growth is hushed into a reluctant yet hopeful acceptance of corporate sponsorships paving the way to support artists as they produce and showcase their work.
DAF gloats participation from 500 artists, 100 studios and 50 exhibitions/performances/events. The streets come alive throughout the weekend and all cultural forms take advantage of the nooks and crannies of sidewalks, buildings, rooftops and even construction panels to display and submerge the audience in its artistic glory. Here we collected a short spectrum of studios, events, and installations you shouldn’t miss.
Projects & Installations
Sept 28–30, 8pm, Manhattan Bridge Archway
One of the more obvious draws include Codex Dynamic, a video projection exhibition cast along the walls and archway of Manhattan Bridge. Last year I was blown away by the haunting 3D visual effects pulsating along the surface of the bridge, the wow factor and technical extravagance overpowering its artistic significance. This year it will be of similar influence showing the work of video artists questioning “subjectivity of space, time and the effect they have on our perceived reality”. In other words, prepare for another visual mindfuck. The artists participating in this “show” include Enid Baxter Blader, Monika Bravo, Gary Hill, Jaakko Pallasvuo, SYSTEM D-128, Sarah Walko + Malado Baldwin, and many others
Sept 28, 6–9pm, Washington Street at Water Street
King Kong is coming to town, this time in the form of discarded plastic bottles and bags. I hope we’ll be able to shake hands on the rooftop of a Dumbo warehouse.
Sept 28, 6–9pm, 81 Washington Street
Also be on the lookout for very large plastic gummy bears.
Open Studios & Exhibitions
Sept 29–20, starting at noon, 20 Jay Street, Suite 318
After a two-week work session, 30 artists from over 20 countries will be opening their studios and sharing their work with the general public. If you want a taste of what to expect, check out their website, where they have been blogging photos from the studios every day.
Sept 29–30, 1pm, Brooklyn Bridget Park Two
Iviva Olenick gives embroidery and crafts’ resurgence in contemporary art a social media kick. Tweet her your dirty little secrets @ivivaolenick to be regurgitated into physical space and installed in her studio throughout the weekend.
Sept 29–30, 12pm, 92 Plymouth Street
Monika Sziladi creates digital collages from photos shot documenting offline experiences instigated by our online identities. Niche meetups, networking mixers and online dating platforms give us the opportunity to invent identities that are executed with kinks in the real world. Moments of uncertainty, self-conscious obsession with self-documenting and relentless prophesizing over digital technologies are revealed in these images as our most vulnerable.
Sept 29–30, 12pm, 89 Bridge Street, 2nd Fl
Randall Stoltzfus creates paintings with layers upon layers of circles and dots rendered in large scale visual landscapes. I find obsessive mark making mesmerizing and will always remind me of the crazed persona of Yayoi Kusama.
Sept 29–30, 12pm, 68 Jay Street
Part Warhol, Lichenstein, and de Kooning the paintings of Matt Straub are self-professed “Mash-Up of sensibilities” that bleed nostalgia of the Westerns and cowboys. Saturated color palettes and layers of art & cultural histories abound.
Sept 28, 6pm, Sept 29–30, 12pm, 111 Front Street
An exhibition of geometric oversized paintings by Mark Dagley. Relying on sequences and a systematic process to creating the works, Dagley strives to create an “impersonal look, but paradoxically, I want to achieve it painting by hand.” This duality will be interesting (or not interesting at all) to witness.
Events & Performances
Sept 29, 12–9pm, roaming
On the subject of digital, technology and online/offline experiences we can’t forget the influence of video games and robots. Spontaneous Art’s central mission to creating participatory performances gives us grumpy folks a chance to dodge sponge bullets and jump through hoops maneuvered by green latex man-sters.
Sept 29 // 12 – 5pm // Tobacco Warehouse
If you’re exploring DAF with children in tow make sure to step into Art Village for hours of artertainment. Activities include stop-motion animation, clay sculpting, cardboard bridge making, sewing, and bike decorating.
The Dumbo Art Festival takes place from Friday, September 28 to Sunday, September 30 all around Dumbo, Brooklyn.