TUESDAY, APRIL 12
Opening: Steve DiBenedetto at Half Gallery
In Steve DiBenedetto’s paintings, octopi have a tendency to grab curlicuing forms with their tentacles. Does the animal tame the abstraction, or does the abstraction tame the animal? There always seems to be an all-out war between every tangled form in DiBenedetto’s work, which takes its cues from the subtly constructed chaos of rock music and the surrealism of psychedelia. With this new show, DiBendetto has made work that, in his words, involves “subjecting the painting to too much information.” By doing so, DiBenedetto is able to open up the canvas as a space of conflict—a place where the eye can move freely once again.
Half Gallery, 43 East 78th Street, 6–8 p.m.
Screening: Twilight City at Light Industry
Black Audio Film Collective’s 1989 essay film Twilight City explores London through the eyes of Olivia, a black British researcher living in the city. In letters to her mother, Olivia writes, “The London you’ve left behind is disappearing, perhaps forever, and I don’t know if you will want to return to a new one.” There’s more than one way to compare Twilight City, which was directed by Reece Auguiste, to Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil in style, mood, usage of archival footage, and exploration of location, but the movie differs in that it remains focused on London only, and specifically on the gentrification of a city ruled by a banking class. Over the course of the film, feminist theorists, queer activists, and scholars of empire with ties to London including Paul Gilroy, Homi Bhabha, Gail Lewis, Femi Otitoju, and George Shire also lend their thoughts to the camera.
Light Industry, 155 Freeman Street, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $8 at door.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13
Performance: Filibuster at BRIC House
Alicia Grullón will perform Filibuster, a work that reenacts Texas State Senator Wendy Davis’s iconic 2013 filibuster to block an abortion bill in its entirety. During this 11-hour period, Davis wasn’t permitted to sit down, drink water, go to the bathroom, or deviate from the topic at hand. A press release states, “By mirroring Davis’ feat, Grullón not only performs a significant moment in the history of women’s rights, but, as a Latina, also brings forward broader issues, such as poor women’s access to health care, cultural norms related to abortion, and cultural stereotypes.” Filibuster is part of a larger group show ongoing at BRIC House titled “Whisper or Shout: Artists in the Social Sphere,” which examines social justice issues through different forms of communication.
BRIC House, 647 Fulton Street, 10 a.m.—9 p.m.
THURSDAY, APRIL 14
Opening: “Dansaekhwa and Minimalism” at Blum & Poe
Dansaekhwa and Minimalism occurred thousands of miles apart, at around the same time, but the art of both movements looks remarkably similar. During the late ’60s and early ’70s, while Minimalist sculptors Richard Serra and Sol LeWitt were distilling art objects to their most basic geometries in New York, Lee Ufan and Kwon Young-woo were transforming what painting could be in Korea. Though subtly different in their political contexts, all of these works are aesthetically similar. How could this be? This show at Blum & Poe, the first survey ever to focus on Dansaekhwa and Minimalism, begins to unravel that mystery, examining the subtle differences between the two movements and their interest in monochromes. By no means definitive, the show will surely be the first in a series of shows about the the two ostensibly similar styles. —Alex Greenberger
Blum & Poe, 19 East 66th Street, 6–8 p.m.
FRIDAY, APRIL 15
Opening: Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller at Luhring Augustine
For Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, looking at their work isn’t enough—you have to hear it, too. And so, in two installations coming to Luhring Augustine’s Chelsea space this week, Cardiff and Miller engage not only viewers’ eyes, but their ears as well. (Both installations have appeared elsewhere first.) In The Marionette Maker (2014), Cardiff and Miller place a full-size caravan in the gallery. Inside is a marionette that is, in effect, making marionettes, and sounds of a forest can be heard. Meanwhile, for Experiment in F# Minor (2013), movement sensors pick up when viewers enter the gallery, triggering various sounds. In both cases, the viewer is required to play the sound—being present allows these works to be heard. —Alex Greenberger
Luhring Augustine, 531 West 24th Street, 6–8 p.m.
SATURDAY, APRIL 16
Opening: Moyra Davey at Murray Guy
Moyra Davey’s new show at Murray Guy, titled “7 Albums,” was inspired by Jean Genet’s 1948 book Funeral Rites. Davey, who works primarily in photography, text, and video, writes about her fascination with a collage Genet made on the back of the rules board posted in his jail cell in a press release. Deciding to make her own version of the rules-board collage, she begins with an enormous 1991 photograph dubbed Oozing Wall, which then becomes the background for a “talismanic” tableaux.
“‘The task is to fill the empty page,’ wrote Derek Jarman.
I am filling the empty page and I am also trying to make it count, trying to ‘risk’ something, as did Jarman. But my situation is different; I am not desperate, there is not the same urgency I felt after being diagnosed. I have immodestly spoken of my own ‘modest blindness,’ and like Borges, I know the allure of confession.”
Murray Guy, 453 West 17th Street, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Conference: Theorizing the Web 2016 at Museum of the Moving Image
Over the course of the weekend, scholars, journalists, artists, activists, and technology experts will join together at the Museum of the Moving Image to discuss the relationship between the Internet and society at large. Already on its sixth edition, this two-day conference will feature a range of accessible speakers and panels spotlighting a variety of ideas about the symbiotic tension between technology and culture.
Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue, Astoria, NY, 11:30 a.m.–7 p.m. Registration is pay-what-you-wish and includes access to both days. Register here.
SUNDAY, APRIL 17
Lecture: Anne Carson at the Whitney Museum
Though she might not be the first person you’d think of when it comes to surveillance art, the poet Anne Carson will perform “Lecture on the History of Skywriting” this weekend in conjunction with the Whitney’s Laura Poitras show. Carson’s piece takes on the point-of-view of the sky, while in Poitras’s show viewers get to do some stargazing by lying on a raised platform, unaware that the images they’re seeing are drones hidden in the darkness of the night. The poem and Poitras’s installation make a nice comparison, and so, after Carson performs “Skywriting,” Carson will talk with Faisal bin Ali Jaber, whose brother-in-law and nephew were killed in a U.S. drone strike.
Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort Street, 7 p.m. Tickets $15/$12.
Opening: Lucas Blalock at Ramiken Crucible
If you stare at it for long enough, Lucas Blalock’s photography starts to seem very strange. What appear to be simple still lifes—patterned backgrounds, occasionally with small objects arranged on top of them—reveal themselves to be manufactured compositions. Look closely, and little visual stutters appear; they’re faked using Photoshop effects all along. Are these mysterious images supposed to be like advertising images blown open? Or are they simply Blalock messing with our eyes and how we perceive pictures in the digital age? It’s always unclear with Blalock’s hypnotic, surreal images, which are the subject of this show at the oddball Lower East Side space Ramiken Crucible. (Rather unsurprisingly for the enigmatic gallery, there’s no press release.) Expect more puzzling compositions that call to mind work by Annette Kelm, Sherrie Levine, and Christopher Williams, all of whom look for the point where advertisement-like images stop making sense. —Alex Greenberger
Ramiken Crucible, 389 Grand Street, 6–8 p.m.