The Politics of Eradication

Paul Shambroom
Recalling Old Europe's nobility portraits, the five-foot-tall photo Bomb Suit, Robot (2005) is set in a woodsy glade and printed on varnished canvas. But rather than a saber and riding boots, this upright figure sports bright-green body armor while his arm rests nonchalantly on the metal chassis of an "Explosive Ordnance Disposal" robot. Other shots find abstract beauty in destruction: Exploded cars against white-washed, mud-splattered blast walls feel like action painting for an anxious time. Julie Saul, 535 W 22nd, 212-627-2410. Through May 13

Shi Jinsong
Thoroughly twisted, this show conflates the infancy of a mythological Chinese war god, Na Zha (who wore "pants so red they caused the sea to boil"), with our contemporary mania for ultra-safe baby accoutrements. Sculptor Jinsong has created accessories for this demon-slaying baby that include grenade-shaped bottles, ninja-star mobiles, and strollers with brass-knuckle footrests. Literally cutting-edge, these exquisitely wrought stainless-steel sculptures bristle with razor-sharp blades and barbs. Chambers Fine Art, 210 Eleventh Ave, 212-414-1169. Through April 15

'Switching Worlds: Desires and Identities'
This eclectic show includes objects that Nin Brudermann found hidden in a Brooklyn basement, which she then conflated into a story of ephemeral intrigue bolstered by fanciful "evidence"—lost glove, South American bank statements, key fob—all documented in a sprawling wall installation. Higher tech is a projected spiderweb that snarls and tears as viewers pass by, while Ursula Endlicher's "mouse chair" (gyrate your rump to control a computer cursor) is literal low tech. Austrian Cultural Forum, 11 E 52nd, 212-319-5300. Through April 15

Hatschepsut as King
photo: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Hatschepsut as King

Hank Willis Thomas
Coke. Gucci. Mickey D's. And Nike, Nike, Nike. Thomas detourns print ads aimed at black consumers by enlarging them and digitally removing the text: A 1969 campaign featuring models in pink, electric blue, and orange Levi's earns the sobriquet The Oft Forgotten Black Flower Children of Harlem. Elsewhere, a stop-motion film of partying G.I. Joes captures the murderous delirium of status seekers who value absurdly ostentatious bling over young men's lives. Jack Shainman, 513 W 20th, 212-645-1701. Through April 15

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