THURSDAY, AUGUST 4
Talk: “ ‘Mirror Cells’: A Salon” at Whitney Museum
At this panel, the artists of the Whitney’s current show “Mirror Cells”—Rochelle Goldberg, Elizabeth Jaeger, Maggie Lee, and Win McCarthy—will hold what the museum is calling a “salon.” The show focuses on emerging artists whose work reflects on conditions that immediately affect the artists. Fittingly, this talk will also include some non-artist types: neuroscientist Dr. Sara Constantino, psychoanalyst Dr. Ezra Feinberg, curator Jody Graf, art historian Leah Pires, and others. At the end, the audience will also be able to participate in the conversation.
Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort Street, 6:30–8:30 p.m. Tickets $8/$10
Party: Juliana Huxtable at Brooklyn Museum
You may recognize Juliana Huxtable’s name from last year’s New Museum Triennial and Performa biennial—she’s become a well-known artist in her own right for her work about memory, history, and the digital age. But she also DJs from time to time as well, and this set, held as part of the Brooklyn Museum’s Tom Sachs mini-retrospective, sounds like a fun time. The museum also notes that, if you arrive before the set starts with quarters, you can play Defender, the ’80s arcade game. But that’s all this evening will cost—Huxtable’s set is free.
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, 6–8 p.m.
Screening: The Lighted Field at Totah
Directed by Andrew Noren, who died last year, this experimental film focuses on the nature of light as energy. Noren called himself a “light thief,” and it only makes sense that his film is playing as part of Totah’s film series “8’19,” ” which focuses on moving-image works that have to do with darkness, light, and ephemeral matter.
Totah, 183 Stanton Street, 6:30 p.m.
Opening: “Off White” at Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts
Curated by Akintola Hanif, this show looks at the political, social, and economic factors that keep persons of color in and out of various groups. Featuring work by Hanif, Khalik Allah, Nema Etebar, Shawn Theodore, Fletcher Williams III, Jamel Shabazz, Asif Farooq, and Adrian Franks, the show looks at the ways identity and race is constructed.
Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, 80 Hanson Place, Brooklyn, 7–10 p.m.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 5
Screening: Will You Dance With Me? at Metrograph
It’s not every day a Derek Jarman film gets its first theatrical run, and that makes this one, Will You Dance With Me? from 1984, a must-see. In this documentary, Jarman, who died in 1994 of AIDS-related causes, chronicles London’s LGBTQ scene. Unseen until two years ago, the film was shot on a camcorder and captures details of the British gay scene that seem quotidian, from a DJ who plays “Relax” to the racially diverse crowd of a club in London’s Mile End district. The Village Voice’s film critic Melissa Anderson will introduce this screening; Ryan McNamara will introduce a screening on August 11.
Metrograph, 13 Ludlow Street, 7 p.m. Tickets $15
Opening: Sean O’Connor at Leslie-Lohman Museum Project Space
Is it possible to idealize male beauty? Sean O’Connor thinks so, which is why, for his first solo show, at the Leslie-Lohman Museum’s project space on Prince Street, he’ll be tackling the idea of vanity with large-scale paintings, prints, and works on paper. This show, titled “Graven Images,” appropriates various forms of masculine beauty throughout male history—the kind that appeared on Greek amphorae, and also the kind that appeared in pin-ups—to look at whether narcissism and images of built men are really one in the same. The show only lasts two days, so you’ll have to act quickly.
Leslie-Lohman Museum Project Space, 127-B Prince Street, 6–8 p.m.
Opening: “Bad Faith” at James Fuentes
It’s a virtual dead zone for gallery shows right now in New York, but this sounds like a strong one. Curated by Andrew J. Greene and James Michael Shaeffer, “Bad Faith” brings together work by four artists who were making work about the AIDS crisis and identity politics just before both issues became major issues in the early ’90s. Their situation, the curators propose, resonates today, in a time when gender, sexuality, race, and oppression are back at the fore of American collective consciousness. Work by Nayland Blake, Jessica Diamond, Peter Halley, and Robert Morris will be featured in this show.
James Fuentes, 55 Delancey Street, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Opening: Kristin Smallwood at American Medium
For her first New York solo show, titled “IUD” after the contraception device, Kristin Smallwood focus on a decades-old topic that’s recently come under the public eye again—the male gaze. Smallwood will specifically look at it with respect to relationships, sex, and birth control in a time when Planned Parenthood has come under attack from conservative groups. “This is an intercourse of ideas around inherent misogyny in our society,” Smallwood said in a statement about the show. “It is an expression of what it feels like to be walked on mentally and physically by other humans and by devices such as birth control.”
American Medium, 424 Gates Avenue, Brooklyn, 7–10 p.m.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 6
Screening: Battleship Potemkin at Anthology Film Archives
No, Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 silent film Battleship Potemkin can hardly be counted as a summer blockbuster, but it is necessary viewing, and Anthology Film Archives is rightfully screening it this week in its “Essential Cinema” series. Eisenstein’s film follows a group of sailors who begin a revolt after being fed spoiled meat. The film has rightly gone down in history for its montage style, in which Eisenstein’s edits are jarring and often flashy—they make the film seem as if it’s at war with itself.
Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue, 5:45 p.m. Tickets $7/$9/$11