On January 13, New York’s underground art community came together at the Knockdown Center in Queens, a sprawling, 50,000-square-foot former factory turned gallery and performance space, to collaborate for the resistance. At “Stay Nasty,” a four-day exhibition and fundraiser that reinterpreted Trump’s notorious pre-election insult as a post-election demonstration of solidarity, any self-identifying Nasty Woman could contribute artwork whose sale would go to support Planned Parenthood. On the second night, visual art bedecked the main space while everything from dance performances and light installations to techno sets by some of New York’s premier DJs occupied the rest of the center’s many rooms. Most of the work had already been bought; proceeds from the previous night’s sales totaled better than $30,000.
Friday night’s main show, an ambitious partnership between RESONATE, an arts event series supporting progressive organizations, and CHASM, which describes itself as a “Brooklyn-based curatorial project for new media, light art, and experimental music,” featured at least seventeen musicians, filmmakers, photographers, and designers, while a ten-DJ Friday the Thirteenth marathon unfolded late into the night. Its massive scope notwithstanding, however, the event occasionally struggled to fill the enormous venue — at the evening’s apex, as Brooklyn DJ Aurora Halal’s pensive techno echoed out over the main space, only thirty or so people danced, each moving in their own bubble, with hundreds of square feet at their disposal.