Art Rx

This week, the doctor wants to cheer you up and get you out of the house! She knows that stupid Sandy has you stuck inside for now, and by Wednesday (Halloween), you’ll probably be more excited to go to work than you’ve been in months. Unfortunately, Hyperallergic’s planned costume ball with the Museum of Chinese in America and the Asian American Writers Workshop has been postponed. But in the meantime, the doctor’s here for you: she’s sending you to openings all around town starting on Thursday, plus a conference devoted to video collective Videofreex at the School of Visual Arts, an event celebrating critic Jill Johnston at the New Museum, and the absurdly fun Found Footage Festival to cap off the weekend.

According to the doctor, when you’re holed up at home is the perfect time to plan the rest of your week. And try to stay safe and dry until the worst is over — doctor’s orders.

Videofreex member David Cort shooting "Mayday Realtime"
Videofreex member David Cort shooting “Mayday Realtime” (image via

We’re All Videofreex

When: Thursday, November 1, 4–9 pm
Where: School of Visual Arts Theatre (333 West 23rd Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

NOTE: Originally scheduled for last November, Videofreex is taking place this Friday, April 5.

SVA pays tribute to pioneering video collective Videofreex with a conference titled “We’re All Videofreex: Changing Media & Social Change from Portapak to Smartphone.” Members of the collective will reunite and join artists, curators, and art historians to screen some Videofreex work and talk about their legacy in the age of the cell-phone cameras and DIY video.

Cy Twombly’s Last Paintings

When: Opens Thursday, November 1, 6–8 pm
Where: Gagosian Gallery (980 Madison Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)

Not only is Gagosian Gallery opening an exhibition of Cy Twombly’s last paintings — eight brash and vivid untitled works, but it will also show some 100 of the artist’s photographs alongside them. The photos have been exhibited throughout Europe but not much in the US, making this an exciting opportunity.

Glacial Landscapes

When: Opens Thursday, November 1, 6–8:30 pm
Where: Bitforms Gallery (529 West 20th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

Bitforms Gallery and Issue Project Room are teaming up to co-present Albedo Prospect, a solo exhibition by artist Ed Osborn that promises to be wonderfully immersive. Osborn will show a video triptych that explores glacial landscapes in the Svalbard archipelago and the sounds of their transformation, amplified by a special 8-channel sound system from Issue.

Hidden History

When: Opens Thursday, November 1, 6–9 pm
Where: Hionas Gallery (89 Franklin Street, Tribeca, Manhattan)

Eight years ago, Jason Covert’s mother gave him a case filled with dozens of antique glass negatives of photographs taken by his great-great grandfather, a grocer in Washington Heights. Inspired by the trove, Covert created The Bridge, a project on view at Hionas Gallery that pairs prints of the originals with his own new, complementary works.

"A Wake," installation view at Momentum Berlin
“A Wake,” installation view at Momentum Berlin (image via

A Wake

When: Opens Thursday, November 1, 6–9 pm
Where: Dumbo Arts Center (111 Front Street, Suite 212, Dumbo, Brooklyn)

It may sound morbid but it also sounds fascinating: the Dumbo Arts Center is hosting a group exhibition called A Wake: Still Lives and Moving Images. The show, which originally comes from Momentum Berlin, uses video, film, and photography to explore the presence of death in our lives, particularly in today’s media. And of course, it opens on Dia des Muertes (the Day of the Dead).

An Ideal Escape

When: Opens Friday, November 2, 7–9 pm
Where: NurtureArt (56 Bogart Street, Bushwick, Brooklyn)

Despite the nonsensical claim that the artists in this show have a “viewpoint…located beyond physical reality,” we’re willing to give this show at NurtureArt a pass because of its wonderful title: The escape from the banal everyday life to the world of the ideal. Plus it’s inspired by the amazing work of Charles Burchfield — another point in its favor.

Engaging Boredom

When: Opens Saturday, November 3, 6–10 pm
Where: The Invisible Dog Art Center (51 Bergen Street, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn)

Another exhibition with an intriguing theme: Prolonged Exposure, at the Invisible Dog Art Center, focuses on boredom and restlessness. Works by more than 20 artists will attempt to “overhaul viewers’ sensory and interpretive habits and engender new modes of attention,” aka not bore us.

Critic as Subject

When: Sunday, November 4, 3 pm ($8)
Where: New Museum (235 Bowery, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

Cultural critic Jill Johnston is the subject of this event at the New Museum, which features editor David Velasco and Hyperallergic Weekend’s own Claudia La Rocco. After the discussion comes the fun-sounding part: artists with the group Movement Research will perform readings of dance and performance reviews.

Floating Heads

When: Opening reception Sunday, November 4, 6–8 pm
Where: On Stellar Rays (133 Orchard Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

JJ Peet has been on many critical radars since his idiosyncratic first solo exhibition at On Stellar Rays three years ago. This weekend (well actually last weekend, but there was that whole hurricane thing), he opens his latest show, Defend_Station, which he says “is first and foremost about drawing,” although it includes sculptures, “or floating heads.” You’ll have to visit to find out anymore.

Found Footage Festival

When: Sunday, November 4, 7:30 pm ($12)
Where: Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

We wouldn’t go so far as to call it art, but the Found Footage Festival is uniquely hilarious. For the uninitiated: organizers Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher find and collect ridiculous VHS tape footage; they then organize shows where they present some of the best clips, along with stories about the finds and witty commentary. They’ll have two shows on Friday night at Anthology Film Archives and then head to the Brooklyn Brewery on Sunday.

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