Art Rx

Much of the art world is migrating south this week, with Art Basel Miami Beach and the — what is it now, more than twenty? — other fairs taking over Florida’s cultural capital. But good stuff is still happening in New York, and with so many people gone, events might even be less crowded!

The doctor says try out some experimental performance this week, with a group of sound artists playing along to The Social Network or a Rauschenberg-inspired interactive performance opera. There are also lots of great-sounding panels and lectures, including two about artists making work outside the Communist system in Eastern Europe during the 1970s and 80s. Given all the overindulging happening in the art world this week, it might be a good time to sober up with a history lesson or two and get inspired.

Krzysztof Wodiczko, "Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection"
Krzysztof Wodiczko, “Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection” (2012) (image via

Public Art and War

When: Tuesday, December 4, 6–8 pm
Where: New York University’s Steinhardt School (60 Washington Square South, Rosenthal Pavilion, 10th floor, Greenwich Village, Manhattan)

For this event exploring connections between war, trauma, and public art, artist Krzysztof Wodiczko will discuss his project “Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection,” which features interviews with veterans projected onto the statue of Lincoln in Union Square Park (up through Sunday). A war veteran/activist as well as experts on neuroscience and art therapy and history will talk, too — an interesting, promising mix.

A Women’s Biennial

When: Opens Thursday, December 6, 6–9 pm
Where: A.I.R. Gallery (111 Front Street, Suite 228, Dumbo, Brooklyn)

A.I.R. Gallery, a longtime champion of women’s art, kicks off its 10th biennial. Curated by Ingrid Schaffner, the show features an international selection of 36 women artists — and is quite wonderfully titled 36 Cats and one stripe pussy.

GO Town Hall

When: Thursday, December 6, 7 pm
Where: Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn)

Many people had many things to say about the Brooklyn Museum’s latest crowd-sourcing exhibition experiment, GO. This week is your chance to share your opinions with the organizers. If you loved it, hated it, thought some aspects worked and others didn’t, tell them at Thursday night’s town hall conversation.

Double Features

When: Friday, December 7, 7:30–9:30 pm ($8 suggested donation)
Where: 155 Freeman Street (Greenpoint, Brooklyn)

Triple Canopy and sound artist and composer C. Spencer Yeh are bringing back Yeh’s event series Double Features, which has musicians and sound artists play alongside film or video works. Friday night’s event will include Title TK (the band of curator Howie Chen, artist Cory Arcangel, and guitarist Alan Licht) accompanying the Facebook movie The Social Network, which sounds highly entertaining.

Detail of the poster for Panoply Performance Laboratory’s “You’re a Big Boy Now, OR Rauschenberg ist Tödlich: A Diner” (image via

Romanian Underground

When: Friday, December 7, 8 pm ($5)
Where: The Observatory (543 Union Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn)

In Romania, during the reign of Communist dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu, a group of filmmakers banded together to made experimental, avant-garde films. Art historian Ileana Selejan will lecture about the little-known group, called kinema ikon, and show some of their work.

Alternative Russian Art

When: Saturday, December 8, 2–4 pm
Where: New York Public Library, Jefferson Market branch (425 Avenue of the Americas, Greenwich Village, Manhattan)

Continuing with the theme of alternative art in Communist countries, Thomas Werner is presenting a three-part lecture series at the New York Public Library focusing on Russian artists who worked outside the Soviet system between 1970 and 1991. Saturday is the second talk, on photographers. And given the continued imprisonment of two members of Pussy Riot and the alarming censorship happening in Russia, the whole series seems incredibly timely.

Artists on Artists

When: Monday, December 10, 6:30 pm ($6)
Where: Dia Art Foundation (535 West 22nd Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

The doctor hearts Dia’s Artists on Artists series, and next week’s installment should be a good one: Uruguayan conceptual artist Alejandro Cesarco (whose work is currently on view at Murray Guy) on the eminently influential On Kawara.

Rauschenberg Performance Diner

When: Monday, December 10, 1 pm–Tuesday, December 11, 1 am
Where: Fitness (1196 Myrtle Avenue, Bushwick, Brooklyn)

This event organized by Panoply Performance Laboratory is a 12-hour, interactive performance art opera inspired by Robert Rauschenberg that takes the form of a diner, where you can order such things as music, text, and actions for $1–$5. That sounds awesomely bizarre.

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