Because of the upcoming holidays it is a somewhat quiet week on the art front in New York City, and yet there are still a handful of wonderful events on offer.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 19
Screening: “Slides and Mirrors Plays” at Microscope Gallery
This two-part expanded cinema program, run in connection with the Whitney Museum’s “Dreamlands” show, focuses on artists who produce and reproduce moving images, reflecting them over and over again. The first half of “Slides and Mirrors Plays” will feature artists working with slides, which are used here as a way to explore the mechanics behind projectors. The second half will be about artists working with mirrors, both in the physical world and the digital sphere, on such platforms as Skype. Over the course of the night, Gill Arno, Kenneth Zoran Curwood, Sarah Halpern, Alexia Welch, Rachael Guma, Simon Liu, Karolina Raczynski, and Raha Raissnia will all present work.
Microscope Gallery, 1329 Willoughby Avenue, #2B, Brooklyn, 6 p.m. Tickets for both halves $15/$20; single-session tickets $10/$15
Opening: Chris Oh at Fortnight Institute
In Chris Oh’s work, art history’s masterpieces become consumerist objects. A Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres portrait is painted onto a denim tote bag; an ancient Roman work appears on the inside of a backpack. These surreal combinations of contemporary objects and classical artworks are about the way that pictures of art have become so ubiquitous that they can be bought and sold with ease. For his Fortnight Institute show, titled “PLAYS,” Oh will show some of these works, including Dirge, in which a Caravaggio painting is reproduced on a pillowcase.
Fortnight Institute, 60 East 4th Street, 6–8 p.m.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20
Performance: Simone Forti at International Studio & Curatorial Program
In 1968, Simone Forti spend days observing animals at a zoo in Rome. She studied their movements, and then developed what she discovered into the performance Sleep Walkers/Zoo Mantras (1968), which explores how humans relate to animals through their gestures. This week, Forti will perform the work for the first time in New York since the ’70s; after the performance, the dancer, artist, and choreographer will discuss the work with curator Kari Conte. Seating will be available for the first 50 visitors on a first come, first serve basis.
International Studio & Curatorial Program, 1040 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, 6:30 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21
Screening: The Witch at Museum of Modern Art
Robert Eggers’s The Witch (2015) has a simple plot: a family expelled from a small New England town in the 1630s gets terrorized by a woman living in a forest nearby. It doesn’t take long, however, before disturbing things start to happen. A baby disappears, another child get sick, and slowly but surely the family begins to fall apart. This horror movie was met with raves when it premiered last year at the Sundance Film Festival, and it’s continued to strike a chord with critics, many of whom have commented on its luminous cinematography. Screening here as part of MoMA’s “The Contenders 2016” series, the film is followed by a conversation with Eggers.
Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, 7:30 p.m.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22
Gesamtkunstwerk: The Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden
Choo-choo! The annual Holiday Train Show, which I look forward to every year, has returned to the Botanical Garden in the Bronx. It features miniature locomotives zooming through models of many famous New York sites—a veritable feast of visual visual pleasure. This year’s new additions include a new Queensborough Bridge and a special Coney Island section. Not to be missed. —Andrew Russeth
The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, various times and ticket prices