Art Rx

Some people say that, according to the ancient Mayan calendar, the world is ending this week — Friday, December 21, to be exact. The doctor says that’s just an excuse to get in as much art as you can! She thinks you’ve been spending too much time indoors anyway, now that it’s getting to be winter, and she wants you to get out and get moving.

Performances are a good way to stretch your legs and your mind, and there are a lot of them this week: The Fantastic Nobodies at White Box, a Frankenstein remix at the Kitchen, a tribute to John Cage at English Kills, and a piece about social rituals at the Museum of Arts and Design. For those looking for something a little more interactive, the Museum of the Moving Image opens a video games show with dozens of playable games. And if you’d rather just sit in a dark room and pass away the time, the Museum of Modern Art brings back Christian Marclay’s “The Clock.”

See you on the other side of the apocalypse!

"Spacewar!" running on the Computer History Museum's PDP-1 (image via Wikipedia)
“Spacewar!” running on the Computer History Museum’s PDP-1 (image via Wikipedia)

Museum Arcade

When: Recently opened
Where: Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria, Queens)

The Museum of Modern Art may be starting to acquire video games, but the Museum of the Moving Image has been showing them for decades. Still, the timing is ripe for the latter institution’s Spacewar! Video Games Blast Off, which opened this past weekend. The show features Spacewar!, the first digital video game, running and playable on a model of the original Programmed Data Processor-1 computer, plus 20 other games — or, as a reviewer wrote in the New York Times, “effectively an arcade.”

The Fantastic Nobodies

When: Tuesday, December 18, 7:30–9:30 pm
Where: White Box (329 Broome Street, #1, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

The Fantastic Nobodies, in addition to have a fantastic name, are a group of performance artists who’ve made a name for themselves since the late 1990s, performing at places as varied as the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, the Highline Ballroom, and Andrew Edlin Gallery. In their performance at White Box, titled The Revenge of the Fantastic Nobodies, they will apparently perform “in a new creative medium, known in the trade as ‘Suspended Judgment’” — whatever that means!

 Not-So-Silent Auction

When: Wednesday, December 19, 7 pm ($40)
Where: 79 Walker Street, 6th floor (Tribeca, Manhattan)

Normally we try to shy away from pricey benefits, but it’s impossible not to mention the beloved Flux Factory’s annual Not-So-Silent Auction. In addition to supporting Flux with your ticket — $25 of which is tax deductible — you’ll also get access to jpg light portraits, a team of “knock-off artists” making customized copies of the auction items, and the auction items themselves (by Swoon, John Powers, Martha Wilson, and others), most of which start at actually affordable prices.

Modern-Day Frankenstein

When: Wednesday, December 19, 8 pm ($15)
Where: The Kitchen (512 West 19th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

For their performance, “Psychopompe,” which debuted at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, artists Camille Henrot and Joakim have created a take on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein that mixes 1930s avant-garde cinema, ancient mythology, ambient noise music, and iconographic fragments of everyday life. And by going you’re supporting The Kitchen, which is still struggling to recover from Hurricane Sandy.

Swoon's "Ben" (2012), for sale as part of Flux Factory's Not-So-Silent Auction
Swoon’s “Ben” (2012), for sale as part of Flux Factory’s Not-So-Silent Auction

 Cage Transmitted

When: Thursday, December 20, 7–10 pm ($20 in advance; $25 at door)
Where: English Kills Gallery (114 Forrest Street, Bushwick, Brooklyn)

Norte Maar has spent the past year celebrating the centennial of composer and artist John Cage’s birth. On Thursday, they’re closing out the series — and welcoming the Mayan apocalypse — with a spontaneous, 45-minute theatrical event. Attendees are promised “pizza, beer, performance and John Cage.”

 An Initiation

When: Thursday, December 20, 7:30 pm
Where: Museum of Arts and Design (2 Columbus Circle, Midtown, Manhattan)

Artist Legacy Russell takes over the Museum of Arts and Design’s lobby on Thursday night for the premiere of a piece, Initiation, that examines social rituals. The performers will enact preparations for shared social rituals — dressing for a birthday party, say, or for a graduation or funeral, letting us muse on the different ways we prepare for public and private occasions.

The Clock, Again

When: Opens Friday, December 21
Where: Museum of Modern Art (11 West 53rd Street, Midtown, Manhattan)

It has arrived! Again! If you missed it all those other times, or you just can’t get enough of it, Christian Marclay’s “The Clock” is once again on view in New York, at MoMA for a month. But given how crowded the museum gets, and the fact that there are no viewing time limits, just be prepared to wait.

Birthday Party

When: Sunday, December 22, 4–6 pm
Where: 16 Wilson Avenue (Bushwick, Brooklyn)

Storefront Bushwick is turning one year old! Help the gallery celebrate on Sunday, and catch the current duo exhibition of painters Tatiana Berg and Evan Nesbitt while you’re there.

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