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

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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