Written nearly a decade before she was appointed artist-in-residence at the New York Department of Sanitation in 1976, Mierle Laderman Ukeles’s “Manifesto for Maintenance Art 1969!” points at a basic disconnect between concept and reality.
Andrew Dinwiddie, Caleb Hammons, and Jeff Larson are the curators of CATCH, a New York–based monthly performance series that features some of the most exciting artists working in theater, dance, performance art, and everything in between.
“Raise your hand if you’ve ever been in a cadaver lab,” Riva Lehrer, artist and guest curator for Vesalius 500, asked the audience gathered in the New York Academy of Medicine’s Hosack Hall.
“The Watershed” remains skeptical about the nature of freedom in what creator Kyle Abraham terms a “poly-phobic society.”
The Knockdown Center is a sprawling, compound-like factory in Maspeth, Queens, that’s been renovated into an industrial-chic venue striving to, according to the website, “create an adaptable environment that thinks beyond what ‘is.’” In that sense, The Wilder Papers, a semi-guided experiential dance event that took place there last week, was perfectly on trend.
Performance Space 122’s COIL Festival is one of a number of imaginative theater festivals to descend on New York City each winter.
Great Small Works’ International Toy Theater Festival is in its 10th year of celebrating miniature puppet works of all kinds. The last two weeks saw the festival transform St. Ann’s Warehouse in DUMBO, Brooklyn into a family circus-style labyrinth festooned with hand-painted banners, dividing the space into several individual makeshift theaters supplementing St. Ann’s usual venue.
I first learned about Nick Cave’s work in an undergraduate puppetry class. Puppetry, like architecture and some other disciplines, is the synthesis of a myriad of techniques both artistic and mechanical, attracting sculptors, dancers, and engineers in equal number. Similarly, Cave’s 30-strong herd of horses that visited Grand Central last week in his piece HEARD•NY, presented by MTA Arts for Transit and Creative Time, as well as the “Soundsuits” for which he gained initial recognition are genre-bending works of art: they are visual and performative wonders as well as feats of construction. Cave is the director of the Graduate Fashion Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, so while he may be an unwitting puppeteer, he is certainly no stranger to the intersections of beauty, functionality, and craftsmanship.