Art Rx

Don’t worry, honeys. The doctor knows you’re getting the first bit of a fall cold, and she’s got just the thing to make you feel better. She’s keeping it calm this week, with lots of panel discussions and talks that will have you mulling things over while you sip your tea. Try thinking about art-school debt at Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, or if that’s too painful, head over to the School of Visual Arts to hear artist mothers talk about what it takes to do both. If you want something a bit more glam, you can find Marina Abramović at the Strand or Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, director of Documenta, at Cooper Union.

The doctor also fell a bit in love with the Bronx last weekend, so she’s recommending two trips up there: one for an exhibition opening at Lehman College, the second for an art-focused walking tour of Woodlawn Cemetery (led by a Hyperallergic contributor, no less). And you can cap it all off with this weekend’s Conflux Festival, pondering psychogeography and meeting creatives and thinking about how to use art to make urban life a bit better.

Work by Dewitt Godfrey installed outside at Lehman College
Work by Dewitt Godfrey installed outside at Lehman College as part of the “Space Invaders” show (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

 Rethinking Your MFA

When: Tuesday, October 16, 6:30 pm
Where: Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space (323 West 39th Street, 2nd floor, Theater District, Manhattan)

If you spent a lot of money on an MFA and now you’re feeling frustrated about it, you’re not alone. If you didn’t spent a lot of money on an MFA but are wondering if you should — well, you’re not alone either. As part of To Have and to Owe, its current exhibition focused on debt, the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space hosts artist Cassie Thornton, who will lead a conversation about art-school debt and ask, “What happens when we look at art as the by-product of debt?”

 Artist Mothers

When: Tuesday, October 16, 7 pm
Where: School of Visual Arts Theatre (333 West 23rd Street, Chelsea Manhattan)

Tuesday is apparently the night for tackling big art-world problems. At SVA, artist and Two Coats of Paint blogger Sharon Butler will sit down with six women artists to talk about balancing the demands of the commercial art world with those of motherhood. This conversation has been all over the media and the internet of late, and it’s about time some artists weighed in.

 Marina and Klaus

When: Tuesday, October 16, 7–8 pm (requires purchase of book or $10 Strand gift card)
Where: Strand Books (828 Broadway, Greenwich Village, Manhattan)

In case you missed it in exhibition or movie form, Marina Abramović’s famed retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, The Artist Is Present, is also now (sort of) a book! Marco Anelli’s Portraits in the Presence of Marina Abramovic captures the faces of the people who sat across from Abramović during the exhibition. At the Strand, Anelli, Abramović, and curator Klaus Biesenbach will discuss the performance and how Abramović pulled it off.

 Space Invaders

When: Opens Wednesday, October 17, 6–8 pm
Where: Lehman College Art Gallery (250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx)

We know, we know: the Bronx is far away and not where you usually think to trek for your Wednesday night art openings. But last Saturday at our Guggenheim/Hyperallergic stillspotting event, the doctor got a preview of the new exhibition, Space Invaders, at the Lehman College Art Gallery, and she can safely say it’s fantastic. The show features 19 artists who all made site-specific works in and around the gallery, which is housed in a building designed by Marcel Breuer to boot.

Doug Rickard, "#96.749058, Dallas, TX. 2008"
Doug Rickard, “#96.749058, Dallas, TX. 2008” (2010) (image via

 New Street Photography

When: Opens Thursday, October 18, 6–8 pm
Where: Yossi Milo Gallery (245 Tenth Avenue, Chelsea, Manhattan)

For four years, Doug Rickard found striking scenes of depressed places throughout the country on Google Street View. He then re-photographed them on his computer screen with a tripod-mounted camera. The resulting photos comprise A New American Picture, the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York and his accompanying monograph. Rickard will be on hand at Thursday night’s Yossi Milo opening to sign books.

 Hypothetical Influences

When: Thursday, October 18, 8 pm ($10)
Where: Observatory (543 Union Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn)

Here’s an interesting thought experiment: this event at the Observatory, titled “Influences and Affinities: Animated Shorts the Quay Brothers May Have Watched,” is devoted to screening works by Eastern European animators who might have influenced the Quay Brothers (who currently have a retrospective on view at MoMA). The videos were chosen by writer and SVA faculty member Thyrza Nichols Goodeve and are all by people we know nothing about. Go have your mind blown by something new!

 Cemetery Art

When: Saturday, October 20, 1–3 pm ($18)
Where: Woodlawn Cemetery (Jerome Avenue and Bainbridge Avenue, Bronx)

Hyperallergic contributor Allison Meier not only writes about cemeteries; she also leads tours. In this Woodlawn Cemetery tour on Saturday, she’ll be visiting many of the monuments she talked about in her piece, including Patricia Cronin’s “Memorial to a Marriage” and the Belmont Mausoleum. OK, we know we’re a little obsessed with the Bronx right now, but we promise, it’s worth the trek! Plus what better way to get excited about Halloween than with an arty cemetery tour?

 Revisiting Documenta

When: Saturday, October 20, 5–7 pm
Where: Cooper Union’s Frederick P. Rose Auditorium (41 Cooper Square, East Village, Manhattan)

Documenta is a mega-exhibition that many in the art world love; it’s also held in Kassel, Germany, only once every five years, so many more of us have never seen it. To hear a bit about what you missed, head to Cooper Union on Saturday to hear Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, artistic director of this year’s Documenta, deliver a lecture about the show, followed by a discussion with participating artists Mariam Ghani, Joan Jonas, and Michael Rakowitz.

 Conflux Festival

When: Saturday, October 20, 12–8 pm, Sunday, October 21, 12–6 pm
Where: Barney Building Gallery at NYU’s Steinhardt School (34 Stuyvesant Street, East Village, Manhattan)

The Conflux Festival is one of those events where it’s best to let their description do the talking: “the annual New York City festival for contemporary psychogeography, the investigation of everyday urban life through emerging artistic, technological and social practice.” Curated this year by artist Angela Washko, the festival features two days of presentations and performances, plus a huge exhibition of “transit-oriented” works.

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