Mark Your Calendar

We narrowed your choices down to the very best of the season so you're not overwhelmed

'Readings With Fence Magazine'
October 18
The Kitchen, 512 W 19th,
About eight lines into the bogus Lyn Hejinian intro to Geraldine Kim's Povel (for "poem-novel"), we were throwing back our head and cackling maniacally—the unabridged title is four full pages long. The main event is a relentless series of memory-soaked chunklets, but laughter—or just sheer spazziness—is thankfully never far. Joining Kim are fellow poets published by the laudable literary journal Fence: Aaron Kunin, author of Folding Ruler Star (a "values-neutral Paradise Lost"), and Laura Sims (Practice, Restraint). Park

Geoff Dyer
October 25
New School Library, 66 W 12th,
The English author's latest is a perceptive, albeit rambling, attempt to understand the nature of photography. Filled with photos "by" and "about" Walker Evans, Alfred Stieglitz, and Diane Arbus (among others), The Ongoing Moment shifts fluidly throughout the last century of photography's history as Dyer explores different ways of seeing and being seen. Shalita

Paul Collins
November 9 ,
Housing Works Used Book Café 126 Crosby,
Voice essayist Collins is a connoisseur of the offbeat, a literary sleuth who can translate foxed-paged eurekas into brilliant comic prose. In The Trouble With Tom, his fourth book, the chase is on, as Collins hunts for the whereabouts of Thomas Paine's bones—common sense dictates, of course, that the quest begin at a gay bar on Grove Street. Rich with details (such as the fact that Paine's portraitist charged an extra $20 to include the sitter's hands), Trouble is almost criminally diverting. Park

Glam it up: Peter Hujar's 1973 Fayette from his first American retrospective
photo: Matthew Marks Gallery
Glam it up: Peter Hujar's 1973 Fayette from his first American retrospective

Jeff Byles
November 22
Center for Architecture,
536 La Guardia Pl,
Readers of these pages may recognize the Bylesian byline. His forthcoming debut, Rubble, is a cultural history of unbuilding—from Haussmann's Parisian overhaul to the collapse of the twin towers—that will make him a writer to watch. "As devastating civic trauma, beguiling counterarchitecture, rousing urban spectacle, and sheer scuttling of place," he writes, "demolition may well be the black art of our time." Byles illuminates how we are what we destroy. Park


'Safe: Design Takes On Risk'
October 16 through January 2
MOMA, 11 W 53rd,
Oh, how my building super laughed when I had to think about the best place for him to install the now mandatory carbon dioxide detector. OK, he didn't laugh; he was pretty pissed that I'd take time to think about where the little disk looked best. If it had been well designed I might not have had to think so hard. Enter the 300-plus objects on view in "Safe: Design Takes on Risk." Form on one hand, function on the other—these days, I'm not taking any chances, aesthetic or otherwise. Snow

'Robert Rauschenberg: Combines'
December 20 through April 2
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave,
Rauschenberg's best-known work—the "combines"—created a new form of collage that is oft credited with turning the piecing of materials into a truly American art. Obviously lauded as influential (almost to a fault), the work will surely benefit from its first comprehensive presentation (or celebration, depending on how you look at it). Snow


'The New City: Sub/Urbia in Recent Photography'
September 30 through January 15
Whitney Museum of American Art
945 Madison Ave,
Sub/Urbia" promises to examine the areas just outside of our fair city (and outside of our fair cities all over America) and is sure to present the suburban ideal (and not so ideal) that defines our relationship to such space. We knew that Gregory Crewdson would be invited to this block party, but we look forward to pieces from Zoe Leonard's Analog and Tim Davis's Retail, and to work from Amir Zaki, Catherine Opie, and Walead Beshty too. Snow

Peter Hujar
October 23 through January 16
P.S.1, 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, Qns,
Peter Hujar captured, in black-and-white and clear as day, a New York that was seedy and sultry in the best of all possible ways. His lens and framing classicized images that were anything but—his portraits and street photography documented, in a manner that recalled the bygone era of Brassai and Weegee, his often gritty world in the late '70s and early '80s. Here, 70 photographs, most never exhibited, make up the first American retrospective of Hujar's work. Snow


The White Stripes
September 24 & 25
Keyspan Park, 1904 Surf Ave, Bklyn,
The Stripes were born to bash out their red, white, and blues 'neath the candy-colored lights of Coney Island, where the pleasures are simple and archaic. Jack's songwriting reaches a timeless peak on their latest album, Get Behind Me Satan, and live, he channels Zorro via Cole Porter and latter-day Dylan. Meg is a blissful, childish silent-movie star. And their onstage chemistry continues to light fires out of thin air. Phillips

Lyrics Born+Perceptionists
October 8
Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey,
With Jay-Z out of the game, Tokyo-born LB commands the surest flow in hip-hop. Though his shtick gets a little hands-in-the-air, his voice never fails him. For Perceptionists Mr. Lif and Akrobatik, politics begins with sharing the talent, rhythmic and verbal both. Nobody rocks a more conscious party. Christgau

Franz Ferdinand
October 17 & 18
Madison Square Garden, Seventh Ave & 32nd,
If you caught a gig or three by these well-clad Scots during last year's touring marathon, you already know that FF's musical abilities have sharpened way beyond their fine debut disc. The evidence is all over its successor, and although the progression from last year's packed clubs to MSG has been a speedy one, you also know it's well deserved. Walters

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