Art Rx

Last week, the doctor prescribed lots of art openings to work the left side of your brain. This week, it’s right-brain time, and she’s recommending talks, discussions, and conversations to stimulate your intellect.

For those interested in the academic track, start the week off with a talk about the way our biases affect what we see. Move on from there to a dissection of photos from Gaza and the concept of dispossession, and then round things out with an intriguing lecture called “The Invention of Non-Art.” Alternatively, you can take the artists’ route, with a dialogue between Sharon Hayes and Laura Horelli and a talk by Larry Fink a few days later. There’s also an ArtsTech meetup this week, about how art functions online, and — maybe the doctor’s favorite — a look at NYC in 1993 through the lens of rap. Finally, for those who want a bit more creative stimulation, do yourself a favor and go see one of the most revered films of all time (about a painter, no less), Andrei Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev. Three hours of medieval Russia should have you feeling not so bad about the cold here in New York.

Still from Andrei Tarkovsky's "Andrei Rublev" (image via
Still from Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Andrei Rublev” (image via

 The Bias of Seeing

When: Tuesday, February 19, 5–6 pm
Where: NYU’s Silver Center (100 Washington Square East, Room 101A, Manhattan)

Art is largely something we see, but what does the process of seeing actually entail? And how do our personal inclinations, desires, and aesthetics inform the way we see and respond to something? Emily Balcetis, assistant professor of psychology at NYU, will talk about the psychological biases in visual perception. With the goal of shaking up our personal senses of reality, Balcetis will unravel what it means to “see what we want to see, rather than how it really is.” —AW

 Brooklyn Commons

When: Tuesday, February 19, 6:30 pm
Where: International Studio & Curatorial Program (1040 Metropolitan Avenue, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

For the latest event in its Brooklyn Commons series, which involves pairing established Brooklyn artists with ISCP residents, artists Sharon Hayes and Laura Horelli will discuss “the role of documentary practices in relation to language, politics and the intersection of public and private domains.” Hayes, who had a show at the Whitney Museum last year, and Horelli, who’s based in Berlin, are both interested in acts of speech and storytelling and the way narratives can make the personal political (and vice versa).

 Life After Death

When: Wednesday, February 20, 6:30 pm
Where: Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall, Columbia University (1172 Amsterdam Avenue, Morningside Heights, Manhattan)

Kent Klich’s extraordinary photographs capture daily scenes of life — and its absence — in Gaza after the 2008–09 bombardment. Klich’s pictures are a powerful addendum to the war photography of the region, documenting abandoned homes and landscapes and capturing what life after death truly looks like. Philosopher and gender theorist Judith Butler will discuss these images and the larger issue of dispossession at Columbia University. The event is expected to be full and priority seating will be given to Columbia students, but overflow spaces will be available. —AW

 Corrupt Russia

When: Wednesday, February 20, 7 pm
Where: 287 Spring (South Village, Manhattan)

Misha Friedman’s exhibition PHOTO51 – Is Corruption in Russia’s DNA? features a photographic series documenting corruption in Russian culture. In addition to the show, 287 Spring will screen three films that explore the issue historically, and Wednesday night is Andrei Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev, called “the best arthouse film of all time” by critic Steve Rose in the Guardian. The movie depicts the life of an icon painter living through the chaos of 15th-century Russia, a period scarred by endless fighting and war. A grim and poetic film in which very little actually happens, Andrei Rublev, in Rose’s words again, “is not a film that needs to be processed or even understood, only experienced and wondered at.” —KP

 How Does Art Work Online?

When: Wednesday, February 20, 7 pm ($10)
Where: Huge (45 Main Street, #220, Dumbo, Brooklyn)

ArtsTech devotes its monthly meetup for February to the question of how art operates in the digital ecosystem of the internet. “In a setting that privileges and rewards content with mass appeal and a meme-ready aesthetic, how does the creative practice of artists working on the internet conform to or defy these rules?” And how much do Facebook “likes” and Tumblr reblogs really mean? Participants include Lindsay Howard, curatorial director of East Williamsburg multimedia space 319 Scholes, and Marina Galerina, art editor and blogger at Animal.

Larry Fink, "American Legion Dance, Bangor, Pennsylvania, 1978" (image via
Larry Fink, “American Legion Dance, Bangor, Pennsylvania, 1978” (photo © Larry Fink, image via

 The Invention of Non-Art

When: Friday, February 22, 6:30 pm
Where: Stony Brook Manhattan (101 East 27th Street, 3rd floor, Flatiron, Manhattan)

Belgian art historian and professor Thierry de Duve believes there are no fundamental differences that delineate modern, postmodern, and contemporary art; art is anything upon which individuals choose to confer the name. As part of the 2013 Art History & Criticism Lecture Series, Stony Brook Manhattan will host a talk by de Duve, intriguingly titled “The Invention of Non-Art.” —JDS

 NYC 1993 in Rap

When: Friday, February 22, 7 pm
Where: New Museum (235 Bowery, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

The New Museum continues its exploration of the year and culture of 1993 this Friday with a great-sounding evening with Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Garcia. The two hosted a now legendary weekly hip-hop radio program at Columbia University from 1990 to 1998, giving Nas, the Notorious B.I.G., the Wu-Tang Clan, and other rappers early and important time on the air waves. Both former hosts will be on hand at the museum to examine the city in 1993 through the lens of rap music, a welcome supplement to the visual-art-focused exhibition.

 Photographer and Subject

When: Saturday, February 23, 2–4 pm ($5, free with student ID)
Where: Aperture Gallery and Bookstore (547 West 27th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

On Saturday, Larry Fink give an an artist talk at Aperture, concentrating on the relationships between subject and photographer as well as style and meaning. Over the past nearly half century, Fink has become known for his candid black-and-white photographs of people attending parties and other social gatherings. However offhand they seem, though, the photos are taken during highly orchestrated events, and they succeed in revealing the follies of the human condition. —KP

 Dancing Seminar

When: Sunday, February 24, 12–3 pm
Where: MoMA PS1 (22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens)

Have you ever wondered just what goes through a dancer’s mind as they transition from one movement or activity to the next? In the latest installment of his 12-part “The Dancing Seminar: A Listening Dance,” Marten Spangberg continues his exploration of movement, dance, and choreography and how they reach into the realms of labor, engagement, urgency, economics, and politics. The series “explores the possibilities of thought through dance and the concept of dance as a practice of truth.” Sunday’s three-hour talk should give the public a glimpse into the mind of a dancer. —JDS

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With listings by Kyle Petreycik, JD Siazon, and Arianne Wack

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