Thu

7/27

Fri

7/28

Sat

7/29

Sun

7/30

Mon

7/31

Tue

8/1

Wed

8/2

Today

Thu

7/27

Activism

BUFU: A Convening on Collective Action

Photo: Members of BUFU / Photograph by An Rong Xu

This month, BUFU (“By Us for Us”) — a collective and self-described “collaborative living archive” made up of black and East Asian queer, femme, and non-binary artists and organizers — is presenting “Us,” an all-boroughs series of talks, workshops, and community-building endeavors. This Thursday’s gathering at the Brooklyn Museum, dubbed “A Convening on Collective Action,” welcomes an array of New York–focused community activist groups that share BUFU’s mission of “building solidarity” and “de-centering whiteness,” including Black Lives Matter, Mi Casa No Es Su Casa, Students for Justice in Palestine, the Afropunk Army, Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network, Yellow Jackets, and more. The itinerary promises an evening not just for strategizing and idea-sharing, but also of pure fun: A happy hour (starting at six) precedes the main discussion, and a mixer with DJ Fiveboi caps off the night. And don’t miss the concluding “Us” event, a marathon all-day session on July 30 at Knockdown Center.

Amara Thomas

Theater

HOT! Festival

Just because June is over doesn’t mean you have to forget about Pride — not for a second. As temperatures rise, July and (just the tip of) August throb with the HOT! Festival, the 26th installment of Dixon Place’s multi-genre LGBTQ performance smorgasbord. This “NYC Celebration of Queer Culture,” the longest-running annual festival of its kind, boasts nearly four dozen shows, including everything from hip-hop to storytelling to opera, with piping-fresh works by just-emerging artists (James Wyrwicz) as well as beloved fixtures (Room for Cream’s Drae Campbell) and legends (the great Reno of Citizen Reno). Most shows are quick, one-and-done engagements, but the marquee offering, To T, or Not to T, will be running throughout: You’ll have six chances to see the Tamil–Sri Lankan–American trans artist D’Lo wryly relate his struggles over the spiky issue of testosterone injections, specifically whether they can be part of a mindful — and feminist — transition into a “beautiful masculinity.”

—Helen Shaw

Music

Sexmob + Reverend Billy

Sexmob, the instrumental quartet known for its tart reinventions of jazz, r&b, and funk, provides a new score to Maciste all’Inferno (Maciste in the Underworld), the 1926 Italian movie, directed by Guido Brignone, that provoked a haunted Federico Fellini to get into film. Brignone’s work was the last silent release in a series devoted to “the good giant” Maciste, a populist muscleman who reliably saves the day. Bartolomeo Pagano plays the title role in Maciste all’Inferno, where he is dragged into the underworld to battle Lord Pluto and his minions. Sexmob — Steven Bernstein (slide trumpet), Briggan Krauss (saxophones), Tony Scherr (bass), and Kenny Wollesen (drums) — recently released Culture Capital, a baker’s dozen of twisty, funky, and relatively concise Bernstein compositions. Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir will deploy their own tuneful capitalist critique earlier in the evening.

Richard Gehr

Film

Found Footage Festival: Cherished Gems

In the heyday of VCRs, “Be kind, rewind” was the Golden Rule of video rental. This week at Nitehawk Cinema, Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher take that to heart and spool us back to the mid-Eighties, when amateur video was in full, garish blossom. Among the wince-inducing treasures they’ve unearthed for the Found Footage Festival are an assortment of exercise videos (including one from Angela Lansbury — Murder, She Sweats, perhaps?), a public-access pet show gone awry, and an overenthusiastic sponge-painting instructor. The duo will also share clips of local news pranks they orchestrated, featuring some unsavory cooking segments (what is “turbo gravy”?) and an environmental activist with an out-of-control yo-yo.

—Rob Staeger

Fri

7/28

Outdoors

Double Dutch Weekend

Photo: Richard Brown

The “mighty motion skippers” and “pleasure of rope rippers” exalted by Malcolm McLaren — over a ripped-off Zulu riff — in his effervescent 1983 hit “Double Dutch” swing again during Double Dutch Weekend. This historic collaboration of Women of Color in the Arts and the National Double Dutch League begins on Josie Robertson Plaza with demonstrations and open jumps, then moves to the David Rubenstein Atrium for a panel discussion — “Living Legacy: Double Dutch’s Impact on the Arts and NYC” — and a screening of Skip Blumberg’s 1981 documentary Pick Up Your Feet: The Double Dutch Show. On Sunday, things get serious back on Josie Robertson Plaza with Lincoln Center’s first Double Dutch Summer Classic National Competition in thirty years, followed by a Damrosch Park concert featuring Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen and the Dynamic Diplomats of Double Dutch.

—Richard Gehr

 

Art

Joan Cornellà: A New York Solo Exhibition

The Spanish illustrator Joan Cornellà sets a sinister mood. His cartoons, which are largely wordless, are drawn in a simple, wholesome style, but they are full of violence, sexual perversion, and human deformities. In one, a couple smile to take a picture with a selfie-stick, only in place of the phone, they stare at a gun. In another, an old woman laughs at a boy and pats him on the head; he has just swallowed poison and is bleeding from the mouth. At first glance the work seems conflicted: Why such a clean style for such angry illustrations? But Cornellà sees no contradictions: The world can be a vicious place — and that, too, can be funny. As he has said: “I think we all laugh at misery.” At the show, canvases, illustrations, T-shirts, and books will be for sale, and Cornellà will be on hand much of the time to sign copies of his new collection, Sot.

—Pac Pobric

Dance

Grand Mid-Summer Pow-Wow

More than forty tribal nations will congregate at the Queens Farm Museum, a 47-acre parcel used on and off as farmland for more than three hundred years, for this annual epic American Indian dance-off. While audiences and farm animals look on agog, teams will compete daily in such events as women’s shawl, men’s grass dance, and women’s jingle dress. Friday and Saturday evenings culminate in a lighting of the bonfire and Saturday and Sunday include gourd dancing, too. There are also children’s contests and tribal singing. Vendors will sell food, crafts, and Native American art and jewelry.

—Alexis Soloski

Music

A Tribute to Pauline Oliveros

The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) will transform Lincoln Center’s Hearst Plaza into an alembic of “Deep Listening” during “Heart of Tones: A Tribute to Pauline Oliveros.” Oliveros, who died in 2016, was an accordion-playing composer enraptured by the confluence of “improvisation, electronic music, ritual, teaching, and meditation.” Inspired by the reverberant qualities of a giant underground cistern, Deep Listening was Oliveros’s feminist response to the rigid masculinist qualities of twentieth-century composition. Oliveros mentees ICE will perform Applebox Double (1965), which amplifies different objects applied to the container of the title; Heart of Tones (1999), a mesmerizing, fluid microtonal work for trombones; and One Hundred Meeting Places (2007), a process piece involving “one hundred time increments with a minimum of one gesture and a maximum of one hundred gestures per player.”

Richard Gehr

 

Dance

Paul Taylor Dance Company

Reportedly the country’s oldest modern-dance troupe still under the direction of its founding choreographer, Paul Taylor Dance Company offers a free program that includes the terrific, complex Company B, which examines the lives and emotions of Americans in wartime. Originally danced to songs by the Andrews Sisters, it’s here performed live by the vocal trio Duchess, who’ll open the show singing their own close harmonies alongside South African jazz singer Vuyo Sotashe. Completing the bill is Taylor’s lovely, lyrical Airs, to a recorded score by Handel. Arrive early to get a good seat.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

 

Sat

7/29

Film

There Was a Time: Civil Rights–Era Hollywood

Photo: In the Heat of the Night / Courtesy Quad Cinema and Park Circus

Provided you’re not stuck on the subway, consider spending a few of your hot summer nights at the recently redeemed Quad Cinema, which has programmed the sixteen-film series “There Was a Time: Civil Rights–Era Hollywood” with the Oscar-winning In the Heat of the Night (1967), this year celebrating fifty, as its centerpiece. Not dwelling on a unifying theme so much as marking several points of cartographic interest, “There Was a Time” traces the contours of the studio system’s evolving philosophy about race relations and the representation of black life onscreen. By these lights, expect a little awards-prestige fumbling alongside (or within) selections that approach the genuinely sublime. And several of the entries, like Gordon Parks’s earnest Midwestern coming-of-age tale The Learning Tree (1969) and Hubert Cornfield’s bombastic but memorably weird Pressure Point (1962), are unlikely to resurface anytime soon.

—Jaime N. Christley

Food & Drink

Iced Coffee Competition

Does the daily dose of a giant iced coffee make you an expert on the subject? Or maybe it’s the second one you drink, later in the day, because it’s so humid and it’s Monday? If you’re the kind of connoisseur who feels a bodega brew just won’t do, then put your caffeinated judgment to good use this weekend. Area coffee shops and roasters, including Nomad Trading and Rise Brewing New York City, will prepare their best iced coffees and engage in a little friendly competition, for which you’ll be the judge. Audience members can participate by tasting every vendor’s version and choosing their favorite; at the end, one lucky contestant will earn the coveted title of “Best Coffee in the Lower East Side.”

—Mary Bakija

Film

Michael Clayton

A late add to the 2007 prestige fracas, Tony Gilroy’s Michael Clayton starred George Clooney in the title role as a self-described corporate mop-up lawyer, struggling to balance unprecedented personal and professional challenges. It was received exactly as advertised: an unassuming “taut thriller” in the Sidney Lumet tradition — Hudson River tones, grown-up dialogue, and crisp wardrobes. It wandered, unchallenged, onto many “Honorable Mention” ballots. On the face of it, Gilroy’s writing and direction (aided immeasurably by cinematographer Robert Elswit and editor John Gilroy), a buzzing ecosystem of gesture and texture, growing out of the margins, doesn’t seem openly hostile to its forebears. But once you begin to notice its silent disobedience to normal modes of emphasis and event, treating major business like minutiae, and vice versa, you begin to interpret its muted style less as an affectation than as a manifestation of the title character’s slowly imploding philosophy.

—Jamie N. Christley 

Music

Warm Up

Somewhere during the two-decade run of MoMA P.S.1’s summer music series, the spread of global DJ culture turned what started as an artsy experimental showcase into the best place in New York to spot Bushwick artists and Murray Hill finance bros mingling happily in beat-driven bliss. By giving programmers from New York’s music scene free rein to each create a one-day dream lineup, Warm Up has managed to stay right on the bleeding edge of every subgenre of electronic sound. Selections are a mixture of high, low, heady, and fun; artists hail from around the world and across the music spectrum.

—Zoë Beery

Dance

Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion

Loss, whether it be of a parent, a partner, or a powerful creative influence, can result in a deeply personal creative experience. Years in development, Kyle Abraham’s latest work, Dearest Home, partakes of his sadness in dealing with love, longing, and loss (including the death of Prince, who inspired his earliest choreography); it was made in collaboration with people from many age groups and backgrounds and draws on new research into the concept of scientific empathy. Performing the solos and duets that compose the new piece are Matthew Baker, Tamisha Guy, Catherine Ellis Kirk, Marcella Lewis, Jeremy “Jae” Neal, and Connie Shiau; Dan Scully designed the set and lighting, and Jerome Begin composed the original score.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Dance

Heidi Latsky Dance

Latsky’s ensemble, twenty diverse bodies dressed in white, take their places at 6 p.m. in On Display, an installation whose participants alternate between the stately stillness of statues and emotionally charged movement. Between the Henry Moore sculpture in the Plaza’s fountain and the grove of trees alongside, her artists expand traditional expectations of who gets to be onstage. Versions of this piece, which foregrounds disability, were recently seen at the United Nations and turn up indoors at Victory Dance this week.

—Elizabeth Zimmer 

Dance

Gibney Dance at Brooklyn Bridge

Summer Saturdays at 7 p.m., enjoy sunset performances on the East River, “class on the grass,” and installations created especially for this glorious site. Excerpts from Folding In, a 2016 contemporary dance by Gina Gibney with music by Hildur Guðnadóttir, will be shown on July 15 and 29; on July 22, come for a class at 5 and stay for a performance at 7 by Kinesis Project Dance Theatre. (Gibney’s dancers will also perform at Union Square Park in Manhattan at 5 p.m. on July 27.)

—Elizabeth Zimmer 

Music

The Body, Moor Mother, Uniform

Sacrilege is the word of the night at this unusual show, which takes place inside a revival tent constructed in Pioneer Works — part of an installation called Grand Ole Opera, which turns touchstones of Southern propriety into sites of rock ’n’ roll transgression. The Body are America’s premier sludge duo, fairly accessible for the genre but still plenty strange. Noise art activist Moor Mother uses her decades of anti-oppression work in Philadelphia to make aggressive, riveting sonic treatises on civil rights. Uniform are here to save Brooklyn noise from itself. Sheer sound played masterfully can purify as well as the Holy Ghost — come get yourself clean.

—Zoë Beery

Sun

7/30

Theater

Summer Shorts

Photo: Acolyte / Graham Moore

Six new scripts divided into two separate programs (Series A and B) running in rotating repertory are presented in this eleventh-annual showcase for short plays. If you have to choose, Series B looks the most promising: It includes Chris Cragin-Day’s A Woman, about a fight to get a conservative church to appoint female elders, and Break Point by Neil LaBute, whose ongoing exploration of insecure men lashing out centers this time on two tennis champs playing mind games off the court. (LaBute also directs.) Among the Series A offerings: Acolyte by Graham Moore, an Academy Award winner for The Imitation Game, his screenplay (adapted from Andrew Hodges’s book) about the pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing. Here Moore turns his attention to another major twentieth-century figure: the novelist and bloviating libertarian Ayn Rand.

—Zac Thompson

Literature

Brooklyn Small Press Flea

If the sticky Saturday train ride to the beach has begun, in the hottest waves of July, to finally lose its appeal, consider a trip to Brooklyn’s annual “summer market,” where you can find the library plaza chock-full of indie publishers selling books and wares you can feel good about buying. For the fourth year in a row, the Brooklyn Public Library is teaming up with BOMB magazine to present a bazaar of literary vendors, including n+1 / Paper Monument, A Public Space, Apogee Journal, the Feminist Press at CUNY, Ugly Duckling Presse, Belladonna* Collaborative, VERSO Books, and many more. With Prospect Park and the Grand Army Plaza Farmers Market a nearly literal stone’s-throw away, you can make a day (and a picnic) of it. Cross the street, buy some blueberries, and find a shady spot to enjoy your loot — the literary rags are all ripe for the reading.

—Sarah Edwards

Theater

J & K: 1965

In 1965, Life photographer Bill Eppridge took a series of photographs of two heroin addicts in New York City: John and Karen. The photos and accompanying article by John Mills shocked American readers from the era, who were confronted by the heroin epidemic, possibly for the first time; it quickly became the inspiration for the gritty 1971 film, Panic in Needle Park, starring Al Pacino. Now Live in Theater looks to those photos again in J & K: 1965, an interactive endeavor about the lives behind those images and the love story of John and Karen. Set in outdoor locations on the Lower East Side, the play has the audience taking on the roles of friends, family members, and other addicts; the company wants attendees to join in on the struggle of these troubled characters, and perhaps experience something like the shock of those initial, impressionable Life readers.

—Nicole Serratore

Food & Drink

Roof to Plate Pizza

Take a break from Seamless or your reliable corner spot and sample some exceptionally fresh pizza toppings at this delectable tasting. Attendees can build a pizza from scratch using ingredients and edible flowers from the Sunday market at Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, which is co-hosting the event and is located just a few blocks away. (Beer and wine will be on sale.) If you’re inspired, take a moment to speak with Annie Novak, a co-founder and farmer at Eagle Street; she can provide tips on how to grow your own pizza toppings at home. Plus, since this is also a bookstore, you can pick up a copy of Novak’s book, The Rooftop Growing Guide, to really dig into the culinary possibilities of your urban outdoor space.

—Mary Bakija

 

Mon

7/31

Art

Katja Novitskova: Earth Potential

Photo: Jason Wyche / Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY

With science lately coming under enhanced scrutiny owing to budget cuts and belittlement from government entities, there’s urgent motivation for concerned citizens to further their comprehension of the discipline’s mysterious magnitude. “Earth Potential,” Katja Novitskova’s Public Art Fund–commissioned sculptures at City Hall Park, presents titanic planets and microscopic beings on equivalent scales, building three-dimensional collages whose eccentric façades emit sensory intrigue. The Estonian-born artist sourced her images from the internet, where she collected significantly magnified looks at otherwise minuscule organisms. Dispersed around the park, the seven digital-print-on-aluminum sculptures — one example pairs an image of the planet Venus with a blown-up version of an 0.4-inch-long sea creature — convey arresting hues and configurations that may seem otherworldly to passersby. Novitskova exalts them all, inspiring thought about the universal importance of our solar system.

—Osman Can Yerebakan 

Art

The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin

Admirers of the philosopher Walter Benjamin have reason to celebrate this summer: His unfinished magnum opus, The Arcades Project, forms the centerpiece of an exhibition at the Jewish Museum that explores the stamp of his legacy across today’s visual-arts landscape. The Arcades Project analyzed modernity by focusing on the shopping passages of nineteenth-century Paris: labyrinthine avenues stretched between streets, roofed with iron and glass, lined with storefronts to attract passersby — all a bit reminiscent of modern-day Chelsea Market. The exhibition features an idiosyncratic collection of artists (such as Milena Bonilla, Voluspa Jarpa, Cindy Sherman, and Chris Burden), each of whose work appears as a response to one of the thematic sections, or “convolutes,” of Benjamin’s text. (Kenneth Goldsmith’s poetic annotations also make an appearance.) It’s a tiny exhibit, but you’ll want to take your time idling through these jam-packed rooms. Imitate Benjamin’s beloved figure of the flâneur — that leisurely saunterer of sidewalks, caught up in a reverie of browsing — and bring a turtle on a leash.

Joseph Cermatori

Art

Anish Kapoor: Descension

Anish Kapoor, to his enormous credit, is the rare contemporary artist who begins not with concepts, but with style. Whatever ideas emerge from his art come later, from the look of the thing, the way it feels and how it hits the senses. Although Kapoor tends toward a clean, spare, graceful style, there is often something overwhelming to his work. That’s certainly the case with “Descension,” an endless whirlpool that disappears into the earth, now installed at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Much of its power comes from the tremendous and ominous hum it generates, which most people will notice before they even lay eyes on it. If there is a drawback, it’s the location: Brooklyn Bridge Park is anodyne and clean, which blunts some of Kapoor’s force. Still, the installation introduces a dose of aesthetic anxiety into any visitor’s day, which alone is commendable.

—Pac Pobric

Tue

8/1

Literature

Al Franken: Giant of the Senate

Photo: Owen Franken

When, in 2007, Minnesota senator Al Franken first announced his campaign for office, politicians and fans alike wrote him off as a laughingstock of a candidate. (Several prominent outlets reported the news with headlines specifying “no joke.”) Oh, how naïve we all used to be. Flash-forward to 2017, and the former Saturday Night Live comedian is hardly the most controversial television personality making moves in Washington. In the age of Trump, however, Franken’s jaded perspective on politics and America’s obsession with celebrity is both unique and necessary — and he shares that valuable p.o.v. in his new memoir, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate. (In one typically confident chapter, he declares Ted Cruz “the Dwight Schrute of the Senate.”) At this Strand-sponsored talk, Franken will be joined by Late Night host (and fellow SNL alum) Seth Meyers to discuss his witty and insightful reflections. Books will be available for purchase on site.

—Amy Brady

Art

AIDS at Home: Art and Everyday Activism

Pride month may be over, but there’s still plenty of time to catch the Museum of the City of New York’s current show, “AIDS at Home: Art and Everyday Activism,” which takes a new look at the disease and its politics through a domestic lens. AIDS activism often involves spectacular forms of protest, but MCNY’s exhibition explores the relatively less visible role of queer homes and support networks during the Eighties and on through the present day. Three rooms divide the show into broad themes — caretaking, housing, and family — mapping out a novel history of New York’s LGBTQ community in documents and artworks across an array of mediums, including works in yarn, embroidery, wallpaper, textiles (think: the AIDS quilt), and other household materials. Arriving during a period of great discontent in Washington — six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS recently resigned to protest the White House’s lack of a strategy for addressing the ongoing epidemic — the show couldn’t feel more urgent.

Joseph Cermatori

Art

The Coffins of Paa Joe and the Pursuit of Happiness

In recent decades, Ghana’s abebuu adekai — known in the West as “Fantasy Coffins” — have become prominent cultural artifacts thanks to the emergence of workshops in the capital of Accra and growing interest from global art institutions. This group exhibition, occupying both Jack Shainman Gallery’s 24th Street location and its Kinderhook outpost the School, reckons with the emotional, transcendental, and cultural implications these elaborate coffins produce through their jubilant embodiment of death and the afterlife. Spearheading the ambitious selection is a series of coffins the Ghanaian artist Paa Joe, who belongs to a family of coffin makers, has built over the years for various figures including animals, houses, or musical instruments. The rest of the ranks range from the contemporary portraits of Kerry James Marshall and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye to the seventeenth-century oil paintings of Francisco Pacheco; all told, the roster of artists celebrates the enduring intricacies embedded in human existence — and human demise.

—Osman Can Yerebakan 

Art

The Art of Spider-Man

If there’s one superhero you expect to see on a wall, it’s Spider-Man — and now, he’s all over the walls of the Society of Illustrators. Is the show good? Listen, bud: “The Art of Spider-Man” is the largest collection of original Spidey pages ever displayed, primarily focused on the sleek, elegant style of John Romita, but spanning the wall-crawler’s earlier, wiry days under the pen of co-creator Steve Ditko on through the intricate webwork of Todd McFarlane (who came on the Spidey scene in the late Eighties). Artists like Gil Kane, John Romita Jr., and Keith Pollard also provide scenes of the webhead facing off against his deadliest foes. Face it, tiger: If you’re a fan of the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, you’ve just hit the jackpot.

—Rob Staeger

Wed

8/2

Music

Gillian Welch

Photo: Mark Seliger

“Pretty as a picture, certain as a scripture,” sings Gillian Welch of the eponymous equines in “Six White Horses,” from her great 2011 album, The Harrow & the Harvest. The line also aptly describes the kind of reimagined acoustic Americana that Welch has been making with musical sidekick David Rawlings since their release of Revival in 1996: tragic songs of life, performed with as much dire beauty as the great sibling acts — the Louvins, Stanleys, and Carters — whose close harmonies they echo. For this gig the do-it-themselfers will likely focus on “our most intertwined, co-authored, jointly composed album” — Harrow & the Harvest was recently transferred to vinyl on their own vintage record cutter, and reissued on their own Acony label — along with their other timely and timeless songs of poverty, disaster, and ruination.

Richard Gehr

 

Art

Morph

From bucktoothed, eldritch-faced jugs to a glazed trio of watermelon rinds with teeth, the works in this fun summer group show have just one thing in common: their medium. Spread out on a long table is a motley banquet of ceramic sculptures that exemplify the limitless potential of clay — soft and lumpy as it is — to transform into irregular, unruly forms with an array of tantalizing textures. In the hands of the dozen featured artists, who tinker with unique molding, firing, and glazing techniques, the earthy material — as the show’s title underscores — morphs into beguiling objects that reward viewing from all angles. Ornate clocks and candelabras by Anthony Sonnenberg resemble grotesque cousins of Meissen porcelain; gradient-hued, biomorphic pieces by Cristina Tufiño seem like mysterious totems of an imagined past. In one piece, assembled by Ling Chun, clay appears as water spouting from a marbled fountain, an illusion made stronger by the unexpected addition of rainbow-stained hair, flat-ironed.

—Claire Voon

Literature

Susan Howe: My Emily Dickinson

“Originality is the discovery of how to shed identity before the magic mirror of Antiquity’s sovereign power.” So writes the poet and translator Susan Howe in her forceful creative study My Emily Dickinson, first published in 1985. It’s a sentence well served as a descriptor of Howe’s own work, which has proved, for nearly half a century, that historicism can make for some of the most inventive and effective contemporary writing around. The elegant Upper East Side French-American bookstore Albertine brings together Howe; New Directions editor-in-chief Barbara Epler; the publisher Isabella Checcaglini; and the translator Antoine Cazé, for a reflection on My Emily Dickinson, which, in its 32nd year, is receiving its first French-language edition from Ypsilon. The panel will be in English.

—Sarah Edwards