TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2Opening: Eva Kot’átková at Independent Studio & Curatorial Program
For her 2015 New Museum Triennial installation, Eva Kot’átková had performers step into cage-like structures and move their bodies according to these sculptures’ odd forms. To those watching, this seemed funny; to those performing, this was probably painful. Kot’átková’s work deals with the feeling of being alienated by power structures, which can sometimes force people to do certain things or act in strange ways. Now, for her biggest solo show in New York to date, the young Czech artist will show drawings and sculptures that make people move differently from everyone else—these deadpan, colorless objects turn their users into rejects. Also on view will be a new video, shot at a hospital in Prague, in which Kot’átková reenacts a trial.
Independent Studio & Curatorial Program, 1040 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, 6–8 p.m.WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3
Opening: Anri Sala at New Museum
In Anri Sala’s videos, ideas reverberate like sounds through space—they echo, returning time and again to the Albanian artist’s lost wanderers in post-Communist landscapes. Since the ’90s, Sala, who won the Young Artist Prize at the Venice Biennale in 2001, has been exploring the effects of history and the past on his home country. His diverse work, which often comes in the form of installations, features all kinds of music, from Maurice Ravel to The Clash, and includes composed, muted cinematography. This New Museum show, titled “Answer Me,” is one of Sala’s grandest projects to date—an installation on three floors that acts similarly to a symphony in multiple movements.
New Museum, 235 Bowery, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Nearly 40 years after he penned his most famous piece of writing, the massively influential 1977 essay “Pictures,” art critic Douglas Crimp is finally releasing his memoir. Aptly titled Before Pictures, Crimp’s book drops this fall, but as a teaser for what’s to come, Artists Space has invited Crimp and the writer Bettina Funcke to discuss Crimp’s life. Among the topics discussed will be how to raise new questions about art production and how to talk about art. In something of a curveball, a blurb on the nonprofit’s website also notes that Crimp will be talking about the role of dance in this life.
Artists Space, 55 Walker Street, 7 p.m., $5FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5
Opening: Fred Tomaselli at James Cohan
Fred Tomaselli’s fifth solo show at James Cohan is explicitly titled “Early Work or How I Became a Painter,” and centers on the artist’s “crisis of faith” in painting and drawing that occurred shortly after he graduated from Cal State Fullerton. Between 1984 and 1990, he moved to performative installations instead—six of which are featured in the show—before arriving back at his roots in the 1990s. The show includes these later mixed-media paintings and works on paper as well, many of which have not been shown since the ’90s.
James Cohan Gallery, 533 West 26th Street, 6–8 p.m.
“Experimental and Interactive Films,” is, according to a press release, “the first full-scale gallery exhibition dedicated to Ana Mendieta’s filmworks in New York.” Though Mendieta is primarily known for her body and landscape work, her innovative work as a filmmaker has been sorely overlooked, and the 15 films in the show—9 of which are debuting for the first time—have been recently transferred over to digital formats to ensure their preservation. Mendieta created over 100 films in her lifetime, though a portion of them—including the first film she ever made as a student at the University of Iowa—were only recently discovered when her estate, together with Galerie Lelong, were cataloguing her films. Additionally, this show also includes videos, archival materials, and one of the artist’s only sound-based works, Untitled (Soul) (1973).
Galerie Lelong, 528 West 26th Street, 6–8 p.m.SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6Screening: Jane B. for Agnes V. at Film Society of Lincoln Center
As part of its “Jane and Charlotte Forever” series, which focuses on the mother-daughter relationship between Jane Birkin and Charlotte Gainsbourg as shown on film, the Film Society of Lincoln Center is screening Agnès Varda’s Jane B. for Agnes V. In typically quirky form, Varda shoots this semi-documentary not as a straightforward interview with Birkin, but as a series of sequences in which the actress and singer enacts various movie tropes. At times, Birkin does slapstick comedy; at others, she’s shown at home, without any makeup on. In between is a meditation of the possibilities of film. How do we ever know when Birkin is being who she really is? When, if at all, does the camera tell the truth?
Film Society of Lincoln Center, 165 West 65th Street, 8:30 p.m., $11/$14
Panel: “Surviving Total Surveillance” at Whitney Museum
To coincide with the exhibition “Laura Poitras: Astro Noise,” Poitras will appear on a panel along with Jill Magid, Trevor Paglen, Hito Steyerl, and Kate Crawford, principal researcher at Microsoft Research New York City. Having each contributed to Astro Noise: A Survival Guide for Living Under Total Surveillance, the publication accompanying the show, the group will discuss surveillance and artistic practice in a post-9/11 world. Jess Search, CEO of BritDoc and co-producer of Citizenfour (2014), will moderate.
Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort Street, Floor Three, Susan and John Hess Family Theater, 2 p.m. Tickets $10/8
To coincide with the current exhibition “Active Ingredient,” which encompasses 22 artists working in a variety of mediums in an attempt to understand reality through bodily (sometimes chemical) change, writers and artists Felix Bernstein, Christina du Garner, and Natasha Stagg will be reading from and performing new works.
Lisa Cooley Gallery, 107 Norfolk Street, 6 p.m.SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7Discussion: Peter Fischli and Hans Ulrich Obrist at the Guggenheim
Peter Fischli will join Hans Ulrich Obrist, co-director of London’s Serpentine Gallery, to discuss his artistic partnership with the late David Weiss, whom he had collaborated with since 1979 on what The Guardian has termed a “post-apocalyptic” body of work. A press release notes that this will be the first time a talk between Fischli and Obrist has been held in New York City.
Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, 4:30–6 p.m. Tickets $15/10/free for students with RSVP