WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 9
Performance: Street Works at Washington Square Park
Much of the current New York City–wide, Ugo Rondinone–organized John Giorno survey has taken place indoors, at venues that include the New Museum and the Kitchen, but this week Giorno’s work will appear outdoors as well, as a group of roller skaters in Washington Square Park hand out Giorno’s poems to unsuspecting visitors. Its a restaging of a project Giorno conceived in 1969 for “Street Works,” a series of performances that took place outside the confines of art institutions.
Washington Square Park, 5–8 p.m.
Screening: The Silence Before Bach at Socrates Sculpture Park
Johann Sebastian Bach gets remixed in Pere Portabella’s kooky 2007 semi-documentary The Silence Before Bach, an essay film of sorts about the power of music. The work opens with a piano that moves slowly toward the camera and ends up involving subway cellists, tour guides, and Felix Mendelssohn. Before the film screens, the Numina Dance Theater will perform.
Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Queens, 7 p.m.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 10
Exhibition: “Photo Studio” at the Studio Museum in Harlem
How does a museum document the work it has on view? The Studio Museum in Harlem will demystify the archival process with an exhibition that turns the museum into an “active photo studio,” according to a release. The public will be able to observe museum staff members taking high-quality digital photographs of work in its galleries and installing and deinstalling objects. Educators and curators will be on hand to answer questions about the documentation process. There’s one small, ironic catch to all this, though: viewers can’t photograph the exhibition themselves.
The Studio Museum in Harlem, 144 West 125th Street, 12–9 p.m.
Concert: Alsarah and the Nubatones at Museum of Modern Art
Alsarah and the Nubatones describe their work as “East African retro-pop,” or mainstream-sounding music that also draws on older Sudanese and Nubian melodies. Comprised of Rami El Aasser, Mawuena Kodjovi, Brandon Terzic, and Alsarah, who is also an ethnomusicologist, the Brooklyn-based group was formed in 2011 and has since released two albums. This week, Alsarah and the Nubatones will perform in the Museum of Modern Art’s sculpture garden as part of a series of events about immigration and American culture.
Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, 6:30–9 p.m.
Talk: Luke Willis Thompson at Swiss Institute
For this program, called “Mourning, Militancy, and Media,” Luke Willis Thompson will discuss his 2016 film Cemetery of Uniforms and Liveries. In that black-and-white work, which first showed at Galerie Nagel Draxler in Berlin, two men—both of whom had mothers who died as a result of police brutality—stare at the camera. For Thompson, the film draws a line between mugshots, colonialist photography, and Andy Warhol’s “Screen Tests.” “There are so few people of color, or so few people who were not white, in Warhol’s archive of Screen Tests, that it made me think that this omission was more significant than the racial exclusion within the underground scene in New York at the time,” Thompson has said of the work.
Swiss Institute, 102 Franklin Street, 7 p.m.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 11
Exhibition: “On Country” at Metropolitan Museum of Art
This exhibition includes six works by Australian Aboriginal artists that come from a gift of work that Robert Kaplan and Margaret Levi made to the museum last year. All of the paintings are abstract, and in typical fashion for Aboriginal artists, they don’t directly reference certain events or people. Yet, in their wavy patterns and repetitive geometries, they refer to natural phenomena, like rain and lightning. Among the works in this exhibition will be Gunybi Ganambarr’s Buyku, featuring a diamond-shaped cross-hatching that alludes to the sacred waters of the artist’s homeland.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Avenue, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 12
Concert: Warm Up at MoMA PS1
Most may know Ryan Trecartin for his high-energy video installations, in which garishly dressed millennials chatter nonsensically, but he’s also something of a musician, too. This weekend, Trecartin will be a guest performer at a set by Total Freedom, the musical pseudonym of the artist Ashland Mines. But that is just the beginning of this day-long outdoor concert, which will also include sets from Cardi B, A$AP Ferg, Hitmakerchinx, Lotic, inc. no world + Ian Isiah, and YATTA.
MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Queens, 12–9 p.m. Ticket prices vary, consult PS1 website for details
Talk: Kameelah Janan Rasheed at Brooklyn Museum
As part of the Brooklyn Museum’s series of talks related to its current shows, Kameelah Janan Rasheed will discuss “We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85” exhibition. That show, curated by Catherine Morris and Rujeko Hockley, addresses a generation of black female artists who were often kept out of the spotlight, among them Barbara Chase-Riboud, Lorraine O’Grady, and Betye Saar. That exhibition’s emphasis on marginalized histories makes it a perfect subject for Rasheed, whose work addresses the nature of memories, both recovered and lost.
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, 2–3 p.m.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 13
Screening: House at Film Society of Lincoln Center
The plot for Nobuhiko Ôbayashi’s 1977 film House is deceptively simple: Gorgeous and her teenage friends journey to her aunt’s house for a weekend, only to find out that it’s haunted. But because this is an Ôbayashi, it quickly turns surreal and psychedelic. Ôbayashi got his start doing advertisements and experimental films inspired by the Japanese New Wave’s taste for tricked-out visuals and cartoonish stories. House draws on those same films and winds up including a floating head and a malicious piano that munches on a girl in one memorable sequence. The film screens here as part of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s “ ’77” series, which celebrates films made in 1977.
Film Society of Lincoln Center, 165 West 65th Street, 9 p.m. Tickets $11/$14