WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10
Opening: Leah Raintree at Noguchi Museum
What do a contemporary photographer, outer space, and Isamu Noguchi have in common? The answer to that lies in Leah Raintree’s latest project, which is titled “Another Land.” Drawing inspiration from the sculptor’s interest in the cosmic forms and balances between space and mater, these photographs appear at first to be views of interstellar landscapes, but are actually images of materials like granite. Noguchi himself had been fascinated by the way objects on earth could represent places far beyond our planet, and Raintree too ponders the way that forms can exist throughout the universe.
Noguchi Museum, 9-01 33rd Road, Queens, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Party: Summer Art Social at BRIC
On Wednesday evening the first floor of BRIC House will be awash in performance, music and visual art in celebration of warm weather and the center’s contemporary art program. The evening will feature an open studio of BRIC’s summer artists-in-residence, an open mic tribute to the dearly deceased Prince and David Bowie, as well as, per a release, some sort of “art-making activity.” Oh, and what celebration would be complete without the usual array of snacks and cool refreshments.
BRIC, 647 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, 7-10 p.m.
Concert: Senyawa at Bridget Donahue
As the wave of summer group shows winds down, Bridget Donahue will turn up the heat with this concert by the Indonesian duo Senyawa. Part Dada-esque poetry and part revisionist take on Indonesian traditions, Senyawa’s music seems like nothing you’ve probably ever heard before. Chances are you’ve never heard of another band where one of the people in it plays the Bambuwukir, an instrument made of thick bamboo, animal skin, and steel strings.
Bridget Donahue, 99 Bowery, 8 p.m. Tickets $12
Screening: An Art that Nature Makes: The Work of Photographer Rosamond Purcell at Film Forum
Rosamond Purcell’s photography invites closer inspection, and An Art that Nature Makes, a documentary about the artist, invites the viewer to do just that. In this film, over two decades of Purcell’s photographs are presented alongside interviews with her and fellow admirers, including the filmmaker Errol Morris, magician Ricky Jay, and director of the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis, Missouri, Lisa Melandri. Through this framing of Purcell’s oeuvre, the synopsis suggests this film will “spur us to apprehend time and mortality from new and unusual angles.”
Film Forum, 209 West Houston St., 6 p.m. Tickets $14/$8
THURSDAY, AUGUST 11
Opening: “Present Futures: Strategies Toward Emancipation (Part One)” at Denny Gallery East Broadway”
In the first of a series of shows about organizes collectives at Denny Gallery’s East Broadway pop-up space, “Present Futures” will explore how artists can respond to such events as the recent shooting at a gay nightclub in Florida. An act of terrorism that riled many Americans, the event has been met with silence in the art world, the show’s curators (Lynnette Miranda, Suhaly Bautista-Carolina, Teal Baskerville, and Henry Murphy) believe. This show will highlight artists who are determined to change that. Works by James T. Green, Ivan Forde, Tiona McClodden, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and J. Soto will be included here.
Denny Gallery East Broadway, 150 East Broadway, 6–8 p.m.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 13
Lecture: Susan Thompson on Louise Lawler at Dia:Beacon
This lecture may not technically be within city limits, but it sounds like a good one, especially considering that the Museum of Modern Art’s highly anticipated Louise Lawler retrospective is less than a year away. Susan Thompson, an Guggenheim Museum assistant curator, will talk about Lawler’s sound work Bircalls (1972/81), which pokes fun at male artists by cooing their names like bird calls. The piece is Lawler’s only sound piece to date, and considering that Lawler is best known for her photography, Thompson should have some good insights into why this work isn’t as well known as others by the artist.
Dia:Beacon, 3 Beekman Street, Beacon, 2 p.m.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 14
Screening: “This Frog: A Kermit Kompilation” at Museum of the Moving Image
Who doesn’t love a screening program of Kermit the Frog clips? Showing as part of the Museum of Moving Image’s show “Jim Henson’s World,” this compilation of various Kermit cameos and scenes will look at the Muppet’s changing role on TV over the years. A release from the museum’s website is worth quoting at length: The Museum celebrates Kermit the Frog’s 60+ years on the scene with a brand new compilation of Jim Henson’s most memorable performances as Kermit, ranging from Sam and Friends to the famous frog’s feature film appearances, with lots more in between. The program will cover his guest appearances, his career in journalism, great musical moments with guest stars, and his long-running romance with a certain pig.”
Museum of Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Queens, 1 p.m. Tickets $12
Screening: Existenz at Metrograph
In this underrated David Cronenberg film, Jennifer Jason Leigh stars as a video-game designer who, after surviving an attempted murder by a fan, takes a businessman played by Jude Law as her bodyguard. Together, they go into a virtual-reality game where they can barely distinguish fantasy from life itself. Viewers today will notice that Cronenberg’s film is like a stranger, more disturbing version of Inception, though Existenz preceded that blockbuster by over 15 years. This film, though not for those with weak stomachs, is a must-see alone for Cronenberg’s weird ability to explore ultra-contemporary concerns about the body and technology before the new millennium began.
Metrograph, 13 Ludlow Street, 1 p.m. Tickets $12
Screening: “Mixtape Meltdown Double Feature” at the Knockdown Center
In a release, the Druid Underground Film Festival is described as a “psychotronic screening residency” taking place every Sunday through September. What exactly that means might be explained by two films playing this week. Found Footage Assault is a mélange of “amateur monster movies, insane Christian scare films and shocking instruction videos” cut together from a collection of old VHS tapes belonging to festival curator, Billy Burgess. The Whore Church Video Mixtape Vol 1 continues in a similar vein, serving up a mix of mostly 1980s VHS cuts digitized for a 21st century audience. You’ll have to attend to find out who (or what) comprises the Whore Church.
Knockdown Center, 52-19 Flushing Ave, Queens, 8 p.m., $5