Our curated events picks for this week: Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers at MCNY, The Listening fundraiser for the Rockaways, 16mm cartoon screening with The Obscura Society.
MONDAY, JANUARY 21: When World War II broke out, New York was a cosmopolitan, heavily immigrant city, whose people had real stakes in the war and strongly held opinions. Join curator Marci Reaven for a tour of the new exhibition WWII & NYC as she explains the impact of the war on the city, which played a critical role in the national war effort, and how the city was forever changed. 11am at the New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West (between 76th & 77th). $18 members; $30 general public. Buy tickets here.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 22: The Kitchen L.A.B. with Jacob Kassay, Ralph Lemon, Tristan Perich, Lynne Tillman, Eric Dyer and Maggie Hoffman. The Kitchen L.A.B. is a new program devoted to presenting, discussing, and developing interdisciplinary works revolving around themes of common interest to artists in different fields””and, more specifically, considering the meaning and uses of specific words in contemporary art. 7pm at The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street. FREE. RSVP on Facebook.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23: Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers showcases innovative design solutions to better accommodate New York City’s changing, and sometimes surprising, demographics, including a rising number of single people, and will feature a full-sized, flexibly furnished micro-studio apartment of just 325 square feet — a size prohibited in most areas of the city. Visitors to the exhibition will see models and drawings of housing designs by architectural teams commissioned in 2011 by Citizens Housing & Planning Council, in partnership with the Architectural League of New York. The exhibition also presents winning designs from the Bloomberg administration’s recently launched pilot competition to test new housing models, as well as examples set by other cities in the United States and around the world, including Seattle, Providence, Montreal, San Diego, and Tokyo. Museum of the City of New York, 1220 5th Ave. Suggested admission: $10 adults; $6 students/seniors.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 24: The Vanderbilt Republic and Untapped New York proudly present THE LISTENING: Vol. II. A Listening Session & Fundraiser for the Far Rockaway Redevelopment Fund. Arin Maya 8pm, Artist Talk 8.30pm, Helioscope 9pm, Batala NYC 9.30pm. Featuring an installation by Athena Azevedo, Vanessa Gonzalez-Bunster & TJ Volonis, Curated by George Del Barrio. Doors 7pm at Gowanus Loft, 61 9th Street, Brooklyn. $20 advance / pay as you can at the door. Buy tickets here.
Also on Thursday: Paolo Ventura’s luminous and haunting photographs function as architectural relics of the imagination, portraying characters and scenarios that are magical, poignant and strangely familiar. Referencing history, art and the subconscious, Ventura’s “invented worlds,” as he calls them, tell stories — some of which he was told as a child by his father, an author of children’s books, and others imagined by the artist himself. Ventura creates his otherworldly photographs by constructing intricate miniature sets and then photographing them, first with a Polaroid for reference and finally with a Pentax 6 x 7 camera. 6-8pm at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies, Columbia University, 1161 Amsterdam Avenue. FREE. RSVP here.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 25: Join archivist and projectionist, Tom Stathes, for a special screening celebrating the seasons with The Obscura Society. As Winter 2013 draws on, Tom Stathes has curated animated cartoons from the 1920s-1930s for every season of the year. Searching his vast stacks of 16mm animation rarities and Tom has hand-selected a wide array of gems: frolicking Springtime fun and hot Summer calamities for those with a warmer temperament, and breezy, cool Autumn shenanigans as well as snowy Winter escapades for those who relish the cold months. For a glimpse into past visions of the seasons as depicted by the merry-makers of early film animation, come enjoy the latest screening—shown in real 16mm film, with a real projector—a unique experience you’ll be sure to enjoy! 7:30pm at The Observatory, 543 Union Street, Brooklyn. $12. Buy tickets here.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 26: 100 years ago, in 1913, Grand Central Terminal opened its doors to the public and on August 2, 1967, NYC’s recently established Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Terminal as an official NYC landmark. Join LANDMARK WEST! and The Museum of the City of New York as we celebrate the centennial and discover why this impressive structure is so very worthy of that designation. A Landmark designation is not to be taken for granted: if it was not for fierce and unwavering preservation advocacy, NYers and citizens of the world would be deprived of this building’s splendor today. 1-3pm inside the Atrium of 120 Park Avenue (opposite Grand Central). $20 members; $25 non-members. RSVP to email@example.com, or call 212-496-8110.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 27: During its six-month run, Frej was an unlikely phenomenon: a seventeen-seat New Nordic pop-up serving a $45 tasting menu Monday through Wednesday in a Williamsburg design studio. Aska, its newly expanded replacement, has gained two extra nights of service (Sunday and Thursday), an additional twelve-seat dining room, and a new partner, general manager Eamon Rockey, whose cocktails share a Scandinavian-inspired, herbal sensibility with chef Fredrik Berselius’s cuisine. The prix fixe menu, now $65 for six to eight small-plate courses, integrates plants like yarrow, lichen, and seaweed, focusing on vegetables and often treating protein as a garnish. 6-10pm at Kinfolk Studios, 90 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn. $65. RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org
The artworks on display at last night’s opening at The Kitchen were my favorite kind– works that reveal themselves layer by layer. Upon first glance, you might think, that looks nice, or that looks interesting, or even the opposite. Right by the entrance on the second floor, there was a collection of umbrellas arranged on a rack and a drawing of Rodin’s Balzac sculpture. Moving into the main space, I observed a collection of works ranging from drawings to sculpture to video art. As I did my first lap of the gallery, I stopped in front of a collection of charcoal drawings of NYPD officers that looked like they had been drawn in a college art class and wondered how something so unfinished ended up in a gallery in Chelsea. I wondered the same thing about a collection on the opposite wall of pen drawings that looked like badly drawn street maps. It would be a shame to stop there, relying only on first impressions, however. The stories behind these works of art are much more interesting than they initially appear.
All of the artworks in Matter Out of Place challenge the way we think about public spaces, from empty parking lots and housing projects to prominent museums. The artists aim to delve into urban life and explore the human impact on the city. For 20% Chance of Show, Paul Branca asked six artists to create works on umbrellas to be displayed in MoMA’s lobby as a temporary exhibition. He drew Borrowed Balzac based on Rodin’s sculpture in MoMA’s lobby using pens, pencils and markers he borrowed from museum visitors. In the space of the gallery, reactions ranged from reverent observation to playful interaction with the umbrellas.
The charcoal drawings collected and displayed by David Horvitz were actually created at Zuccotti Park during Occupy Wall Street. Along with Adam Katz, Horvitz staged a figure drawing class with the NYPD as models, “reversing the typical mode of surveillance,” as the press release explains. The police became the objects of observation, even while they were watching over Zuccotti Park. Even after OWS was shut down, Horvitz continued to lead his students on walks through Lower Manhattan at night, looking for police officers that they could draw. The drawings displayed are by the students of Horvitz’s figure drawing class.
Perhaps the most interesting work was Time and Motion Studies: NYC Maps by Sara JordenÃƒ ¶ in collaboration with criminologist Amber Horning. I had the chance to talk with JordenÃƒ ¶ and Horning during the opening and they explained that this exhibit is based on a year’s worth of interviews with pimps working in Manhattan and the Bronx. For the project, they asked pimps to draw maps portraying their territory and tracing their daily routine. They collected about a hundred drawings, fifty-nine of which are displayed at The Kitchen. Horning explained that while some of the pimps were paranoid, especially the ones who had recently been released from prison, many of them were willing to open up to Horning and tell the stories of how they became involved in pimping, details about their business practices and the way they experience their urban environment. JordenÃƒ ¶ then visited the sites and created animated drawings featured on television screens near the maps.
Be sure to check out Matter Out of Place while it’s still on! June 27 – August 17, 2012.
512 W 19th Street