MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9Performance: Takesada Matsutani at Hauser & Wirth
To complete a roughly 15-foot-long canvas on view for his current exhibition at Hauser & Wirth, Takesada Matsutani will perform Stream in New York, a gestural action in Sumi ink. Subsequently, the gallery will host a panel discussion between Matsutani; the co-curator of the exhibition Olivier Renaud-Clément; and critic, scholar, and founder of discussion group PoNJA-GenKON, Reiko Tomii.
Hauser & Wirth, 32 East 69th Street, 5:30–7 p.m. Email email@example.com to RSVP.
Opening: Jeff Koons at Gagosian
However you feel about Jeff Koons, it must be said that his new painting series, Gazing Ball, at Gagosian will be unlike work of his you’ve seen before. Each painting, created “in dialogue with artists of the past, such as Titian, El Greco, Courbet, and Manet, among others,” as a press release states, presents a signature reflective blue ball in the middle of each scene, removing the viewer from the Old World context around it. This mirror of sorts, which shows the viewer themselves and the gallery around them, is supposed to “[reunite] painting and sculpture for maximum sensory perception, as in ancient times,” the release adds. There will be an opening reception for the show on Thursday, November 12, from 6 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Gagosian Gallery, 522 West 21st Street, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Agathe Snow’s first solo show at the gallery, titled “Continuum,” remains something of a mystery. The only clues lie in a press release written by the artist herself, which explicitly refers her son, among other things:
“My son finds peace. He excuses me for not having all the answers. He makes me promise to live as long and as best I can. He throws himself into the collecting of Pokémon cards and the study of their evolution. He explains to me that this one is fully evolved from that one and this one is resistant to that one, and I am released from bedtimes filled with unanswerable questions and unsatisfying answers.I was left to my own thoughts again. All I could think of were ways to visualize the story of human heritage, to build from scratch, using all materials and colors. Maybe in that creation I could find my forever. I think totems would do the trick. I start making shapes. They more and more resemble the monsters in the Pokémon cards. Through monsters my son and I speak. How did he understand it all? He never once asked me what evolution meant.”
The Journal Gallery, 106 North 1st Street, 6–9 p.m.Talk: A conversation about the Syrian refugee crisis at Interference Archive
Budapest-based activist and photographer Gabrielle Csoszó and Syrian-American community organizer Sarab Al-Jijakli will speak about the current refugee crisis, with the former sharing her recent work documenting Hungary’s current political stance and the latter discussing the situation abroad. Interference Archive and Triangle Arts Association have collaborated to present this event, which “focus[es] on the power of the image to instigate social change and our responsibility as artists, activists, and citizens to come together and search for solutions,” as a release states.
Interference Archive, 131 8th Street, Number 4, Brooklyn, 7–9 p.m.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12Screening: Ellis at Soundwall
Soundwall will host a screening of the Robert De Niro–starring short film directed by Paris-born artist JR, set during Ellis Island’s peak. The film’s historical context connects with the artist’s growing awareness of the Syrian refugee crisis, as he told the New Yorker in September:
“Walking around the abandoned hospital on Ellis Island, I could feel the presence of the hundreds of thousands of people who passed through, and of the countless ones who didn’t make it and got turned back. I look for what’s often missing in today’s media coverage. I want to find the story behind each person who left his or her country. I want to know what made them leave everything and everyone behind, even when they knew they’d never be able to come back. It takes so much courage. There were immigrants in Ellis a hundred years ago, there are migrants now, and there will be some in a hundred years, so we have to do what we can to try to relate to each individual story.”
Soundwall, 65 Reade Street, Suite 3A, 6–8 p.m.Poetry series: “What if someone told u you were significant?” at A+E Studios
By now, you’ve surely heard of the Alt-Lit poets, a group of millennial writers brought together by an Internet connection to create poetry and prose using the very language of digital communication that both alienates and comforts us in everyday life. As a press release states, “Alt-Lit speaks to an age where our sincere reflections and most private beliefs can be shared at an instant with the click of a button—published directly, spread widely, and preserved as a public backlog of visible memory.” Participating writers and artists include Heather Phillipson, Bunny Rogers, Andrew Durbin, Ben Fama, Sophia LeFraga, Harry Burke, and Morgan Parker.
A+E Studios, 160 West Broadway, 6:30 p.m., $10Performance: November Steps at the Guggenheim Museum
Tom Gold has re-envisioned the 1973 ballet choreographed by Alberto Burri’s wife, Minsa Craig, and staged and costumed by Burri himself to Toru Takemitsu’s 1967 eponymous musical composition. For this performance of November Steps, members of the New York City Ballet will dance in the museum’s rotunda as a projection of one of Burri’s own Cretti slowly forms on the stage below them.
Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, 8 p.m. Tickets $40/30/20Performance: Zheng Mahler at 350 Broadway
Hong Kong–based duo Zheng Mahler will perform New York Post- et Préfiguratif (Before and After New York) as part of Performa 15. This multimedia performance centers on Bull, a young Somalian businessman, and a traditionally attired Beijing opera singer, who converse together regarding “the shifting interplay of global economies and migration, drawing remarkable parallels between their fieldwork in Hong Kong and the experiences of French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss who was exiled in New York in the 1940s,” as a press release states. This Afro-Sino encounter is performed by Kenyan-American actor Irungu Mutu and executive director of Chinese Theater Works Kuang-Yu Fong, who will perform a solo from the company’s Day Job Opera Dreams.
350 Broadway, 8 p.m. Tickets $25/20
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13Performance: Juliana Huxtable at MoMA
For Performa 15, artist, writer, and DJ Juliana Huxtable will perform There Are Certain Facts that Cannot Be Disputed, which has been co-commissioned by both Performa and MoMA. Music, sound, video, and lighting artists have come together to create three vignettes that focus on the confusing relationship between the nature of the digital age and our hunger for historical documentation on the Internet. Huxtable “imagines these virtual spaces as twilight zones of desire, where music, dramatic oration, video, and the presence of human and digital characters coalesce into an immersive, schizophrenic experience that traverses topics as diverse as black samurai, trans-healers in South Africa, pre-colonial globalism, and human evolution,” according to a press release.
Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, 7–8 p.m. Tickets $12/10/8. Note that there are also performances on Saturday, November 14, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Correction, 11/10/2015, 12:20 a.m.: An earlier version of this article misstated the date of the opening reception for Jeff Koons's new show at Gagosian. It opens Thursday, not Monday as previously stated.