MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14
Performance: Barbara Hammer at Microscope Gallery
For the past 50 years, Barbara Hammer has been making films about homophobia, queerness, and bodies, asking viewers to literally walk into her moving-image works and sometimes even projecting images onto them as they do. It’s only fitting, then, that, as part of the Whitney Museum’s “Dreamlands” show, which surveys immersive cinema over the past century, Hammer will debut a new work called Evidentiary Bodies. Not quite a screening yet not quite a performance either, the piece will include video projections of inflated balloons and X-ray scans of the artist’s body as well as live cello music. After the piece, Hammer will do a Q&A.
Microscope Gallery, 1329 Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $10/$15
Talk: “Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in the Age of Black Power” at Museum of Modern Art
This talk takes its name from Susan Cahan’s new book Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in the Age of Black Power, which focuses on the history of black Americans claiming a stake in museums. Lowery Stokes Sims, a curator emerita at the Museum of Art and Design in New York, will be on hand to talk with Cahan about the book and future strategies that artists can enlist. Cahan and Sims will stay after to discuss the subject with attendees at a reception.
Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, 7 p.m. Tickets $12/$20/$35
Talk: Daniel Libeskind, Steven Holl, Elizabeth Diller, and Sam Lubell at New York Public Library
Upon the release of Never Built New York, a book about failed and unused plans for New York City buildings and parks, the New York Public Library is bringing together some of the city’s most important architects to discuss what a more fanciful Manhattan could have looked like. Daniel Libeskind, Steven Holl, and Elizabeth Diller will all be on hand to talk with author Sam Lubell.
New York Public Library, 476 5th Avenue, 7–9 p.m. Tickets $40
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15
Screening: The Watermelon Woman at Metrograph
Cheryl Dunye’s The Watermelon Woman (1996) follows a young black woman, not coincidentally named Cheryl, who is making a documentary about an actress from the 1930s known as the Watermelon Woman. After Cheryl begins a relationship with a white woman and her friends begin to question her lifestyle, Cheryl wonders about her place in society. This independent film, which has long been out of print on home video, was recently restored, offering audiences a rare opportunity to see it. Producer Alexandra Juhasz will introduce the film and do a Q&A after.
Metrograph, 13 Ludlow Street, 5:15 p.m. Tickets $15
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16
Opening: Deborah Turbeville at Deborah Bell Photographs
Deborah Turbeville’s fashion photography is hardly unusual by today’s standards, but, when her pictures were published in magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar in the 1970s, they were considered shocking. With stark interiors and an icy look, pictures of models wearing stripped-down haute couture were revolutionary for their avoidance of excess. This show features photographs that Turbeville took between 1974 and 1982, a period when women’s fashion was going through radical changes as feminism came to the fore.
Deborah Bell Photographs, 16 East 71st Street, 6–8 p.m.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17
Opening: Tony Feher at Sikkema Jenkins & Co.
In this memorial show for Tony Feher, who died earlier this year at age 60, the artist’s last body of work will be on view alongside recent plywood works. Feher made a career out of redoing Minimalist and Post-Minimalist sculptures using everyday objects, e.g. Donald Judd stacks in the form of cardboard boxes and Eva Hesse-like works made of string. Curated by Andrea Blum, Nancy Brooks Brody, Joy Episalla, Zoe Leonard, and Carrie Yamaoka, all of whom were friends with Feher, the show will include monochrome paintings made of mussels as well as some 700 drawings that, through very simple means, show how beauty can be found all around us in the simplest of things.
Sikkema Jenkins & Co., 530 West 22nd Street, 6–8 p.m.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18
Performance: Matt Mullican at the Kitchen
Matt Mullican’s mysterious work looks at how we read signs and ways that certain symbols are built into the subconscious. Seeing his work is a process of learning unto itself, so it makes sense that Mullican’s latest performance at the Kitchen, his first there since the ’80s, will take some time to absorb. The artist describes this new two-day work as a “visceral adventure,” one in which the story will change over the course of two nights. Its title: That Person and That World. Tickets can be bought for one night of the performance or both nights (the second one will follow on November 19).
The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, 8 p.m. Tickets $15 for one performance, $25 for both
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19
Fair: Alternative Art School Fair at Pioneer Works
Some argue that to be a successful artist in today’s art world, you probably need an M.A. But what if there were other ways of getting educated as an artist without shelling out large sums of money and racking up degrees? The Alternative Art School Fair at Pioneer Works will offer methods for revising the tired art school model by providing more visibility to institutions and programs that are going against the grain. Alongside the fair will be panels about how arts education can be rebuilt and how to teach social practice art, among other topics. For those who can’t make it to the weekend-long fair, which continues on Sunday, Clocktower Productions will be live-streaming the event on its website.
Pioneer Works, 159 Pioneer Street, Brooklyn, 12–7 p.m. Tickets $15/$20
Opening: Rob Pruitt at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise
Does Rob Pruitt look like Stefan, the Bill Hader character from Saturday Night Live? Pruitt himself thinks so, and it’s one of many art-world/celebrity pairings he has summoned in his new show at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. An extension of a project that Pruitt started on Instagram, the show places pictures of artists, curators, and gallerists alongside their celebrity döppelgangers—for example, Gavin Brown gets juxtaposed with Mark Ruffalo. According to Pruitt, “The Celebrity Look-alikes are about the Duchampian ease of making a portrait by pointing at a person’s doppelgänger. They’re about the post-Picasso fascination with artists as personalities.”
Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, 291 Grand Street, Third Floor, 6–8 p.m.