TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27
Talk: Andrea Bowers and Martha Rosler at Dia Art Foundation
With the U.S. election heading into its home stretch, and with tensions running higher than ever, you can just about guarantee that this conversation between two political-art heavyweights will be a good one. Both artists are known for their work about the political potential of images—Rosler, for her collage-like explorations of feminism; Bowers, for her work in various mediums about people standing up for their beliefs.
Dia Art Foundation, 535 West 22nd Street, 6:30 p.m. Tickets $6/$10
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28
Opening: “My Barbarian: The Audience Is Always Right” at New Museum
This show focuses on My Barbarian, the Los Angeles–based collaborative group that appeared in the 2014 Whitney Biennial and normally makes work about how theater can have social and activist possibilities. Composed of three members (Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, and Alexandro Segade), the collective had a residency at the New Museum in 2008. During that time, the artists came up with the concept of Post-Living Ante-Action Theater (PoLAAT, for short), which makes use of a variety of performers to deal with issues facing America and foreign countries. Their New Museum show, titled “The Audience Is Always Right,” will look at the history of PoLAAT through documentation, ephemera, props, a video, and a large mural.
New Museum, 235 Bowery, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Screening: The Here and the Now (Zurich 1:1) at Swiss Institute
The Tavistock Institute in London has become the subject of conspiracy theories, one of which says that the British not-for-profit created The Beatles as a form of social control. This may be a little extreme, though it is known that the Tavistock Institute really did experiments involving forms of social control, and that many of them were, indeed, successful. For his film series “The Here and the Now,” Leigh Ledare re-performed some of these thought experiments with six psychologists, who examined modern-day Swiss citizens. One of Ledare’s films, initially commissioned for Manifesta 11, will screen here in connection with the Swiss Institute’s current show of work involving social systems and power structures. Ledare will be on hand to introduce the film and answer questions afterward.
Swiss Institute, 102 Franklin Street, 7 p.m. RSVP to email@example.com
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
Opening: Billy Al Bengston at Venus Over Manhattan
Like many of his Ferus Gallery–represented colleagues, Billy Al Bengston is having a moment. This week, he opens his second New York solo show of the year, following one earlier this summer at Andrew Kreps Gallery. In this show, Bengston will debut new works from his ongoing “Chevron” series, in which the Chevron logo becomes a meditative image, transforming from something obviously meant to market to a brand into something that could even be considered sublime. The Los Angeles–based artist will also have on view 12 works from his “B.S.A. Motorcycle” series, a group of semi-figural paintings devoted to parts of Bengston’s B.S.A. bike.
Venus Over Manhattan, 980 Madison Avenue, 6–8 p.m.
Talk: Nicolas Bourriaud at Jewish Museum
In honor of the Jewish Museum’s show “Take Me (I’m Yours),” Nicolas Bourriaud will come to New York this week for a talk called “Coactivities: The Relational Sphere and the Internet of Objects.” This isn’t exactly an unexpected topic for the French curator, who coined the term relational aesthetics for the loose array of artworks that began popping up in the 1990s dealing with networks and ephemeral actions, by artists like Pierre Huyghe, Philippe Parreno, and Rirkrit Tiravanija. Bourriaud, who is currently the director of the Contemporary Art Center of Montpellier, France, will discuss art and the digital.
Jewish Museum, 1109 5th Avenue, 6:30–8 p.m. The event is currently sold out, but the talk will be live-streamed on the museum’s Facebook page
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
Opening: TOTAL PROOF: The GALA Committee 1995-1997 at Red Bull Studios New York
From 1995 to 1997, Mel Chin and a group of artists engineered a plot to make certain objects appear on the television show Melrose Place. Unrolled condoms, intentionally bad paintings, and an Absolut Vodka knockoff were among the GALA Committee–created props that appeared over the course of the series’ run, though many viewers at the time probably didn’t notice. By today’s standards, none of this seems particularly extraordinary, except that, because this was the ’90s, some of this was boundary-pushing—unrolled condoms, for example, still weren’t shown on network television. This show looks at how the GALA Committee pushed the boundaries of systems for art-making, in the process exploring how high and low art was connected—and whether Melrose Place fans were aware of conceptual art. (And here’s more on the project from M.H. Miller.)
Red Bull Studios New York, 220 West 18th Street, 12–7 p.m.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1
Symposium: “Untitled (Gender and Representation)” at School of Visual Arts
This day-long symposium takes as its broad theme representing gender in various ways and in multiple mediums. Niv Acosta, Jennifer Blessing, Zackary Drucker, Ron Gregg, M. Lamar, Zanele Muholi, and Diana Tourjee will be on hand to discuss a variety of topics, from the connection between fashion and bodies, the use of performance as a way of portraying gender, and the relationship between queer history and photography. Of particular interest is “The Post-Colonial Body: Gender, Art and Popular Culture,” a panel led by Drucker, a producer of the TV show Transparent, with Muholi and Acosta as its panelists.
SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street, 9:30 a.m.–7 p.m. Tickets $10/$25/$40, free for SVA students
Opening: “How Should We Live? Propositions for the Modern Interior” at Museum of Modern Art
“A house is a machine for living in,” Le Corbusier once said, referring to how, in modern buildings, homeowners are a part of a larger system. But what are the possibilities for how that larger system? What should its cogs look like? This show explores how modernists changed the way houses were meant to look, stripping down basic design elements until they were as functional as possible. Rather than focusing on entire buildings and models, this 200-work survey will mainly feature the pieces of modernist buildings that most people take for granted—wallpapers, textiles, and other furnishings. Big-name designers like Le Corbusier and Ray and Charles Eames will be represented, though MoMA has also taken this opportunity to highlight under-represented female architects, among them Charlotte Periaud, whose design for the Maison du Brésil’s bedroom included a bed made only of angular rectangles and cylindrical pillow.
Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Opening: Elmgreen & Dragset at FLAG Art Foundation
After a debuting a sculpture in New York earlier this year that looked either like van Gogh’s ear or an above-ground pool, depending on how you looked at it, Elmgreen & Dragset will be the subject of a survey at FLAG Art Foundation. A loose selection of work from 1998 to now, the show, titled “Changing Subjects,” supposedly in reference to how the word “subject” can be a noun or a verb, will focus on the Berlin-based duo’s interest in themes of mortality and sexuality. An entire room is given over to Elmgreen & Dragset’s 2015 work Side Effects, an installation in which vases containing the pigment used in HIV medicine pills are arranged around the space like graves. Morose and melancholy, yet also occasionally sly and funny, Elmgreen & Dragset’s multimedia work looks at how what is lost is somehow always present.
FLAG Art Foundation, 545 West 25th Street, 6–8 p.m.