Thu

5/25

Fri

5/26

Sat

5/27

Sun

5/28

Mon

5/29

Tue

5/30

Wed

5/31

Today

Thu

5/25

Theater

Ms. Julie, Asian Equities

Photo: Doug Barron

Brave New World Productions, who have cultivated a focus on social justice and a mission to make theater accessible to all at low prices, this week offers a site-specific show looking at power, class, race, and sexual politics. A modern reworking of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie, the piece is being staged on the trading floor of the Brooklyn Academy of Global Finance in Bed-Stuy. Adapted by Leegrid Stevens, the work substitutes Strindberg’s late-nineteenth-century mores for a more contemporary framing, beginning with investment banker Julie (Erin Treadway), who ditches her company’s holiday party to drink beer and hang out with the maintenance staff. A spark of flirtation with one of the janitors (Michael Castillejos) soon raises the specter of the corporate hierarchy and its requisite power relationships, catapulting Strindberg to the complexities of our post–Great Recession climate.

—Nicole Serratore

Art

Larry Clark: White Trash

Larry Clark is best known for a body of films that pierce perceptions of youth and youth culture. Ever since capturing himself and his friends fighting, fucking, and shooting up in his book Tulsa (1971), Clark has also been taking photographs of teens and young adults enmeshed in various subcultures. It’s little wonder, then, that the artwork he likes is bold, brash, and all sorts of intense. The current exhibition “White Trash” features treasures from Clark’s personal art collection, which he stores in his Tribeca loft. A text-based piece by Jenny Holzer, pop art by Warhol, and drawings by Jason Polan all make appearances. More heavy-hitters include Mike Kelley, Jeff Koons, Chris Burden, Robert Frank, Sigmar Polke, and David Wojnarowicz. There are also original theatrical posters for two John Cassavetes titles, Shadows (1959) and The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976), both of which have influenced Clark’s own movies.

—Tanner Tafelski

Art

James Bond Sketch Night

From Ernst Blofeld to Hugo Drax to Oddjob, Agent 007 has bested his share of sketchy characters; he’s also proven a delectable subject for illustrators, including Robert McGinnis, who did the Thunderball poster, in addition to those for other entries in the screen series. But here we’ll learn once and for all if the pen is mightier than the Walther PPK, as the Society of Illustrators hosts a James Bond–devoted evening of drawing. Artists of all levels are invited to bring their supplies and sketch models who will be portraying an assortment of Bond denizens: not just the top agent of Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but also other intelligence operatives and femmes fatale. No explosive, acid-filled, or poison pens, please; pen-based listening devices and radio transmitters permitted.

—Rob Staeger

Food & Drink

The Vodka Contract

At this talk and tasting, Elizabeth Koszarski-Skrabonja, a curator at the Orangetown Historical Museum & Archives, will share the story of how her father’s love for Polish vodka influenced the Williamsburg waterfront. Attendees will get to taste a bit of that history in Żubrówka, a bison grass vodka that’s banned in the U.S. (although an alternate, approved version has been showing up more in the States as of late). Joel Lee Kulp, the owner of the Richardson and Grand Ferry Tavern, will use it in a modernized cocktail called “The Kościuszko Bridge,” created for the event. Traditional Polish bites will also be available; after a cocktail and a nibble, perhaps you’ll be loose enough for a Polish tango, set to live music by the Azuz Ensemble. Plus, grab an after-dance cocktail at the nearby Pete’s Candy Store, where your MOFAD ticket will earn you a buck off drinks all night.

—Mary Bakija

Dance

La MaMa Moves!

Twelve new pieces, many of them sharply political, make up the 2017 La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival, which displays seventeen troupes in four different theaters over eighteen days, as well as outdoors and online (with the crowdsourced project “#Here to Dance”). This week, on the Ellen Stewart mainstage, Stefanie Batten Bland’s new Bienvenue (in five languages) plays May 25–28. Highlights later on include Stefanie Batten Bland’s new Bienvenue (May 25–28), in five languages, and Patricia Hoffbauer’s Getting Away With Murder (June 2–4).

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Theater

3/Fifths

Audiences should ready themselves for a provocative, participatory experience with 3/Fifths, written and conceived by the African-American theater artist James Scruggs. Set in a “dystopian theme park” called SupremacyLand (which occupies a 10,000-square-foot theater space), the show is driven by interactive games that make up the venue’s “Atrocity Carnival.” This satirical work pushes attendees (who “choose” their race before entering and exploring the park) beyond detached observation and puts them in direct confrontation with spaces controlled by hate. Act One brings visitors into contact with symbols, tools, and acts of racially motivated violence; Act Two is billed as a “cabaret” of incidents of white supremacy. Eye-opening from moment to moment, the production is an act of great daring and discomfort.

—Nicole Serratore

Theater

T.B. SHEETS

Buran Theatre’s new work, produced as part of the Tank’s “Flint and Tinder” series spotlighting “ferociously imaginative emerging artists,” sounds like a wackadoo version of Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. Like that novel, it unfolds at an alpine sanatorium for the terminally ill, but Adam R. Burnett’s script introduces a fantastical sci-fi element, having the patients construct a spaceship to escape their earthbound illnesses. As far as healthcare plans go, it’s no worse than the one cooked up by Paul Ryan and Donald Trump. Using a diverse, multigenerational cast, video, puppetry, original music by Broken Chord, and choreography by Lisa Nevada (who also co-directs, with Burnett), the piece reflects less on the politics of health than on the eternally timely themes of mortality and the human yearning to transcend our fragile, imperfect bodies.

—Zac Thompson

Music

Antenes

The close resemblance of a manual telephone exchange’s intricate array of switches, patch bays, and cloth cables to the look of early synthesizers inspired Brooklyn-based electronics artist and DJ Antenes (née Lori Napoleon) to start repurposing telecom equipment into handsome modulators, sequencers, and a synthesizer known as The Exchange. During her Issue Project Room residency, Antenes (whose installation work often employs antennas) will explore the ghostly domains of analog telephonic space, concentrating on the scarcely audible clicks, frequencies, and oscillations that fill what was generally ignored as dead air. Using contact microphones to amplify the subtle sounds of telephonic equipment — and then processing them — Antenes bridges the historically woman-centered world of telephone operation and the still-male-dominated field of electronics, serving as a messenger between the realms. In fact, she’s quite the operator.

—Richard Gehr

Dance

Vanessa Anspaugh: The End of Men, Again

Vanessa Anspaugh, a lesbian who’s recently given birth to a son, is engaged in an ongoing inquiry into the legacy of maleness. Her new work, The End of Men, Again, continues the research she began last year in The End of Men: An Ode to Ocean; with an all-male cast, she works toward exorcising expectations of maleness, seeking to investigate “masculine vulnerability and the historical and unyielding dynamics of cultural domination.” She has directed and choreographed the piece in collaboration with performers Massimiliano Balduzzi, Lacina Coulibaly, Tristan Koepke, Gilbert Reyes, Simon Thomas-Train, Connor Voss, and Jesse Zarritt, and with design help from Ryan MacDonald (sound and text) and Kathy Kouch and Kathy Kaufmann (lighting), as well as dramaturgical assistance from Susan Mar Landau.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Music

Brooklyn Bowl’s 8th Anniversary Event

The Village Voice has teamed up with Brooklyn Bowl to celebrate their eighth anniversary with fourteen shows over eight nights. The roster of artists showcases many of the genres (hip-hop, garage rock, house music) that have made Brooklyn Bowl such a hotbed for diverse music in Brooklyn. The series, “Brooklyn Brewery Presents: A Brooklyn Blast! Celebrating 8 Years of Brooklyn Bowl,” will go from June 29–30 and July 1–8.

Tickets are on sale now. Just follow the links below for each show:

6/29 Red Baraat | 6/29 Bowl Train w/ Talib Kweli | 6/30 Diarrhea Planet | 6/30 Fred Falke | 7/1 Who’s Bad | 7/1 CRAZY SINCE DA 90s |7/2 Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra | 7/5 Half Step | 7/6 Delicate Steve | 7/6 Bowl Train w/ Pete Rock | 7/7 Ripe | 7/7 Gigamesh | 7/8 Stooges Brass Band | 7/8 Robyn Party

Fri

5/26

Music

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Photo: Kerry Brown

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds play some of the first live shows for their sixteenth album, Skeleton Tree, this week at the Kings Theatre. (They’ll return to New York for two more in June, at the Beacon.) It’s a piece of music imbued with extratextual meaning due to the personal circumstances surrounding it: The band worked on the album prior to the tragic 2015 death of Cave’s son (at the age of just fifteen) and completed it afterward. None of the songs were expressly conceived as evocations of the tragedy, but in the group’s performance of them, they are nonetheless filled with grief. Yet to simply conflate the death with the music would be too pat, for this collection coheres with the forceful pitch-black imagery conjured in the band’s entire body of work. Even by the Bad Seeds’ standards, Skeleton Tree is spare, plaintive, and melancholic.

—Tanner Tafelski

Film

North by Northwest

The essence of North by Northwest: Witty, well-heeled Manhattan man gets suit rumpled. Alfred Hitchcock’s VistaVision masterpiece is constructed from scenarios already perfected by the likes of Lubitsch and Keaton — it doesn’t take much to visualize Buster fleeing on foot from an errant cropduster — but the film remains a one-off, of 1959 America only. It endures in large part thanks to Cary Grant’s hardworking performance — upon his Roger Thornhill’s rectangular hair and slender shoulders much malice falls, but he doesn’t buckle. Instead, he fights tirelessly to reassert non-nightmare conditions. When, during the climax, he and Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint) are hanging from a rocky outcrop, the tone with which he asks the dastardly Leonard (Martin Landau) for help is exasperation laced with disappointment, a final protest against stubborn, stupid evil. That moment, like many others, casts the film as one of the last monuments to Eisenhower’s America, in which one’s patriotic sacrifice and the restoration of dapper gentility were equivalent fantasies.

—Jaime N. Christley

Film

Rollerball

The future dystopia in Norman Jewison’s future-deathsport opus, from 1975, remains at once influential and anomalous. Most dystopian stories involving a fully corporatized government and a brutally violent sport/opiate of the masses don’t also take place in a society that’s eliminated poverty, disease, and oppression of women and minority groups. The dilemma at the heart of Rollerball is a little more introspective: Are all of these things worth the sacrifice of pure individuality? It all plays a bit Randian these days, but the film is no less exciting and strange for it: It’s full of thrilling action photography of the eponymous activity, a roller-derby/motocross/American Gladiators mash-up that Jewison shoots almost entirely with gliding Steadicam shots. (The production design is also pure Seventies shag-carpet futurism.) Possibly born from the same Malibu EST sessions that may have brought us Zardoz (1974) and Quintet (1979).

—Matt Lynch

Dance

DanceAfrica

Celebrating its fortieth anniversary just over a week after the death of founder Chuck Davis, the country’s largest showcase of African dance presents five troupes under the rubric “The Healing Light of Rhythm: Tradition and Beyond.” Among them is Forces of Nature, the company run by DanceAfrica’s artistic director, Abdel R. Salaam. Also on each program are the Wula Drum and Dance Ensemble, a Guinean group led by M’Bemba Bangoura, making its first local appearance; Asase Yaa, Brooklyn-based dancers and musicians; Illstyle & Peace Productions, Brandon “Peace” Albright’s Philadelphia-based hip-hop company; and the wonderful kids of the BAM/Restoration Dance Youth Ensemble. There’s also an outdoor bazaar, Saturday through Monday, with food, crafts, and fashion; a companion film series at BAMcinématek; dance workshops at the nearby Mark Morris Dance Center, on Monday; and paintings by Guinean artist Maeva Kounta on display through June 30 in the Dorothy W. Levitt Lobby.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Sat

5/27

Dance

DanceAfrica

Photo: Abdel R. Salaam. Julieta Cervantes.

Celebrating its fortieth anniversary just over a week after the death of founder Chuck Davis, the country’s largest showcase of African dance presents five troupes under the rubric “The Healing Light of Rhythm: Tradition and Beyond.” Among them is Forces of Nature, the company run by DanceAfrica’s artistic director, Abdel R. Salaam. Also on each program are the Wula Drum and Dance Ensemble, a Guinean group led by M’Bemba Bangoura, making its first local appearance; Asase Yaa, Brooklyn-based dancers and musicians; Illstyle & Peace Productions, Brandon “Peace” Albright’s Philadelphia-based hip-hop company; and the wonderful kids of the BAM/Restoration Dance Youth Ensemble. There’s also an outdoor bazaar, Saturday through Monday, with food, crafts, and fashion; a companion film series at BAMcinématek; dance workshops at the nearby Mark Morris Dance Center, on Monday; and paintings by Guinean artist Maeva Kounta on display through June 30 in the Dorothy W. Levitt Lobby.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Art

Ellsworth Kelly: Last Paintings and Plant Drawings

When Ellsworth Kelly died in December 2015, at age 92, he left hanging in his studio ten paintings, nine of which were finished. Among them was a two-part, monochrome diptych — one green panel, one blue — that bears a remarkable likeness to another work he painted in 1962. It was no accident: Kelly often looked back to favored ideas from times past as a way into something new. His final nine completed paintings are now the subject of a show at Matthew Marks; next door, the gallery is also presenting a suite of sixteen of Kelly’s plant drawings, from between 1949 and 2008. Like his larger abstract paintings, these are remarkably consistent; it would be difficult, based on style alone, to date any one of them, a fact that’s a tribute to the clarity of Kelly’s vision.

—Pac Pobric

Film

Minority Report

Leave it to Steven Spielberg to turn a brief Philip K. Dick sci-fi detective story into a rollicking futuristic adventure, a trauma-stricken referendum on post-9/11 paranoia, and a front-to-back Hitchcock homage. (The movie can almost be seen as a two-and-a-half-hour reference to Foreign Correspondent, which, you might remember, also features something called a “Minority Report” as a Macguffin.) Beyond its simple recreation of the famous overhead umbrella shot in Correspondent, Minority Report is fundamentally packed with that film’s same goofy relish. A ridiculous gag involving a jetpack flame-broiling some hamburgers isn’t too far away from Hitch’s old codger trying to vainly cross the street during a police chase. And where the Master of Suspense was urging the U.S. to enter the Second World War a year before Pearl Harbor, Spielberg issues a dire warning to a society all-too-willing to sacrifice rights in exchange for some possibly illusory safety not even nine months after the Twin Towers fell.

—Matt Lynch

Food & Drink

Smorgasburg Williamsburg

The ultimate sign of spring in New York City isn’t cherry blossoms or allergy attacks, but rather the re-emergence of outdoor eating. Just as bar backyards reopen and sidewalk seating returns, so does the alfresco behemoth Smorgasburg bring its tents and grills to the hungry, vitamin D–deficient masses. Around a hundred local vendors will set up at both locations: Saturdays in Williamsburg, and Sundays in Prospect Park. Smorgasburg was previously responsible for the Ramen Burger and Wowfulls, so as you wander, be on the lookout for the next weird food craze.

—Mary Bakija

Music

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds play some of the first live shows for their sixteenth album, Skeleton Tree, this week at the Kings Theatre. (They’ll return to New York for two more in June, at the Beacon.) It’s a piece of music imbued with extratextual meaning due to the personal circumstances surrounding it: The band worked on the album prior to the tragic 2015 death of Cave’s son (at the age of just fifteen) and completed it afterward. None of the songs were expressly conceived as evocations of the tragedy, but in the group’s performance of them, they are nonetheless filled with grief. Yet to simply conflate the death with the music would be too pat, for this collection coheres with the forceful pitch-black imagery conjured in the band’s entire body of work. Even by the Bad Seeds’ standards, Skeleton Tree is spare, plaintive, and melancholic.

—Tanner Tafelski

Theater

The Artificial Jungle

The last play written by master of high camp Charles Ludlam before his death in 1987 was this noir satire involving a dull pet-shop owner, his bored wife, a dangerous drifter, and an ominous piranha tank. Beyond mere spoofery, Ludlam’s works stand out for the range and sophistication of their references (Double Indemnity bumps up against Zola’s Thérése Raquin) and the playwright’s strict adherence to the conventions of melodrama, even as he pushes them to absurd extremes. To mark the fifty-year anniversary of the founding of Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company, his partner and collaborator Everett Quinton (who played the drifter in the original production) is directing a revival of The Artificial Jungle for Theater Breaking Through Barriers, a company that employs actors with disabilities as well as able-bodied performers.

—Zac Thompson

Sun

5/28

Film

Ozu in Color

Photo: Good Morning. Courtesy Metrograph.

By the late Fifties, Yasujiro Ozu had refined his bittersweet portraiture of middle-class families in postwar Japan with a set of rigorously consistent themes, a regular set of collaborators and actors (including stock players Setsuko Hara, Chishū Ryū, and Keiji Sada), and a precise visual style consisting of a (mostly) static camera positioned (usually) about two feet above the floor. He had also developed an idiosyncratic sense of continuity that eschewed many of Hollywood’s conventions. So it’s no surprise that his turn to color, beginning with 1958’s Equinox Flower and celebrated by Metrograph in the five-day series “Ozu in Color,” was no less meticulous. Working exclusively in Agfa-Shochikucolor, which he specifically selected for its reds, Ozu captured the vivid spectrum of both the traditional space of the home (browns and greens) and the modern one of the office and the bar (blue-grays and neon reds). The films deploy color compositionally rather than symbolically, most evident in their bold use of props: a green bottle, a red kettle, a yellow barstool. This palette lends Ozu’s final works — including the famously flatulent Good Morning (1959) and his quietly melancholy final masterpiece, An Autumn Afternoon (1962) — a graphic richness to match the emotional depth.

—Leo Goldsmith

Film

Minority Report

Leave it to Steven Spielberg to turn a brief Philip K. Dick sci-fi detective story into a rollicking futuristic adventure, a trauma-stricken referendum on post-9/11 paranoia, and a front-to-back Hitchcock homage. (The movie can almost be seen as a two-and-a-half-hour reference to Foreign Correspondent, which, you might remember, also features something called a “Minority Report” as a Macguffin.) Beyond its simple recreation of the famous overhead umbrella shot in Correspondent, Minority Report is fundamentally packed with that film’s same goofy relish. A ridiculous gag involving a jetpack flame-broiling some hamburgers isn’t too far away from Hitch’s old codger trying to vainly cross the street during a police chase. And where the Master of Suspense was urging the U.S. to enter the Second World War a year before Pearl Harbor, Spielberg issues a dire warning to a society all-too-willing to sacrifice rights in exchange for some possibly illusory safety not even nine months after the Twin Towers fell.

—Matt Lynch

Food & Drink

Smorgasburg Prospect Park

The ultimate sign of spring in New York City isn’t cherry blossoms or allergy attacks, but rather the re-emergence of outdoor eating. Just as bar backyards reopen and sidewalk seating returns, so does the alfresco behemoth Smorgasburg bring its tents and grills to the hungry, vitamin D–deficient masses. Around a hundred local vendors will set up at both locations: Saturdays in Williamsburg, and Sundays in Prospect Park. Smorgasburg was previously responsible for the Ramen Burger and Wowfulls, so as you wander, be on the lookout for the next weird food craze.

—Mary Bakija

Dance

DanceAfrica

Celebrating its fortieth anniversary just over a week after the death of founder Chuck Davis, the country’s largest showcase of African dance presents five troupes under the rubric “The Healing Light of Rhythm: Tradition and Beyond.” Among them is Forces of Nature, the company run by DanceAfrica’s artistic director, Abdel R. Salaam. Also on each program are the Wula Drum and Dance Ensemble, a Guinean group led by M’Bemba Bangoura, making its first local appearance; Asase Yaa, Brooklyn-based dancers and musicians; Illstyle & Peace Productions, Brandon “Peace” Albright’s Philadelphia-based hip-hop company; and the wonderful kids of the BAM/Restoration Dance Youth Ensemble. There’s also an outdoor bazaar, Saturday through Monday, with food, crafts, and fashion; a companion film series at BAMcinématek; dance workshops at the nearby Mark Morris Dance Center, on Monday; and paintings by Guinean artist Maeva Kounta on display through June 30 in the Dorothy W. Levitt Lobby.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Theater

The Artificial Jungle

The last play written by master of high camp Charles Ludlam before his death in 1987 was this noir satire involving a dull pet-shop owner, his bored wife, a dangerous drifter, and an ominous piranha tank. Beyond mere spoofery, Ludlam’s works stand out for the range and sophistication of their references (Double Indemnity bumps up against Zola’s Thérése Raquin) and the playwright’s strict adherence to the conventions of melodrama, even as he pushes them to absurd extremes. To mark the fifty-year anniversary of the founding of Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company, his partner and collaborator Everett Quinton (who played the drifter in the original production) is directing a revival of The Artificial Jungle for Theater Breaking Through Barriers, a company that employs actors with disabilities as well as able-bodied performers.

—Zac Thompson

Mon

5/29

Art

Anish Kapoor: Descension

Photo: James Ewing

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

Art

Eyewitness

For the month of May, the windows girding the entrance to Battery Park’s Museum of Jewish Heritage will be graced with superimposed black-and-white images of aged, spotlighted faces — smiling, forbidding, bemused. These photos belong to “Eyewitness,” a series of 31 portraits of Holocaust survivors living in New York City, taken by photojournalist B.A. Van Sise over the past year, that collectively constitute the center’s first large-scale public photography installation. Van Sise also conducted interviews with his subjects, and text from those conversations was selected to accompany each image in the interior of the museum, as they flash upon monitors strewn about the first floor. Van Sise, who has photographed for the Voice, told us that his intention with the show was to compose a story that represents “what happens when America actually shows compassion to a bunch of Semitic refugees coming from war-torn places.”

—Hannah Gold

Dance

DanceAfrica

Celebrating its fortieth anniversary just over a week after the death of founder Chuck Davis, the country’s largest showcase of African dance presents five troupes under the rubric “The Healing Light of Rhythm: Tradition and Beyond.” Among them is Forces of Nature, the company run by DanceAfrica’s artistic director, Abdel R. Salaam. Also on each program are the Wula Drum and Dance Ensemble, a Guinean group led by M’Bemba Bangoura, making its first local appearance; Asase Yaa, Brooklyn-based dancers and musicians; Illstyle & Peace Productions, Brandon “Peace” Albright’s Philadelphia-based hip-hop company; and the wonderful kids of the BAM/Restoration Dance Youth Ensemble. There’s also an outdoor bazaar, Saturday through Monday, with food, crafts, and fashion; a companion film series at BAMcinématek; dance workshops at the nearby Mark Morris Dance Center, on Monday; and paintings by Guinean artist Maeva Kounta on display through June 30 in the Dorothy W. Levitt Lobby.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Festivals

Vision Festival

Film, dance, poetry, video art, panel discussions, and a parade: The Vision Festival is hitting on all fronts this time around. The annual gathering, which has celebrated the aesthetic of #resistance long before the act earned itself a hashtag, is a bastion of free-wheeling improv now in its third decade. Its 2017 run cuts a wide swath through experimentation’s varied realms, highlighting artists who dodge the norm and write their own rules. The scope of the scene, from the whomp of Odean Pope’s Sax Choir to the agility of duets by alto whiz Darius Jones and pianist Aruán Ortiz, will be revealed in a week-long stretch. Lots of must-sees in the mix, but the soulful squall of Black Host, the slippery rambles of Joe McPhee’s Dream Book, and the deep chemistry of BassDrumBone are key. This year’s Lifetime Achievement artist is Cooper-Moore, who demonstrates his own scope with three discrete gigs in one night.

—Jim Macnie

Tue

5/30

Art

Tabor Robak: Quantaspectra

Photo: Courtesy Team Gallery

Each of the seven videos in Tabor Robak’s third solo exhibition at Team Gallery are living beings, animated in real time by imagery generated from custom-made computer boards. Floating in infinite space, the iconography — some of it resembling faux social-media icons or corporate logos — meanders through pools of colors and shapes while leaving behind smearing marks akin to shooting stars. Robak’s compositions burst with color, form, and vibrancy; their soundlessness further elevates their affinity with painting (each slash of computer-delivered residue like a fresh brushstroke), distinguishing them from the looping patterns familiar to today’s digital art. Each video produces a distinct ocular effect in which the unrestricted possibilities of digital technology coalesce with the artful, archaic yearn for mimesis.

—Osman Can Yerebakan

Art

Marsden Hartley’s Maine

A hundred years ago, Marsden Hartley was a much more recognizable name. Back then, this American modernist was deeply respected for his early and quick digestion of Paul Cézanne, and especially for his ability to integrate abstraction into his naturalistic style. But Cézanne’s Parisian milieu was not necessarily at the forefront of Hartley’s mind; often, he was thinking first of Maine, his home state, which his work refers to often. This important exhibition, which should go a long way in reestablishing his name, specifically looks at his perennial fascination with the Pine Tree State — and his inability to escape it. (He died in Maine in 1943.) It contains around ninety paintings and drawings, including works by artists who influenced Hartley, like Cézanne, the Japanese printmaker Katsushika Hokusai, and the American painters Winslow Homer and Albert Pinkham Ryder.

—Pac Pobric

Food & Drink

Mad. Sq. Eats

The twice-a-year, month-long event from Urban­Space and the Madison Square Park Conservancy kicks off this week, bringing a slew of restaurants and food vendors to the area. It’s a refreshing way to sample a variety of nearby lunch options while enjoying some time out in the sun. With more than twenty participating vendors, there will be some hard decisions to make, but we’re looking forward to trying jiangbing, the Beijing-style crepes from 2016 Vendy Awards Rookie of the Year Mr. Bing; the meat- and veg-stuffed creations of a former Bark Hot Dogs honcho at Make Sandwich; and the salteñas from Bolivian Llama Party, which are sort of like empanadas, but better. The pop-up market runs daily through June 9, then returns in the fall with a new lineup.

—Mary Bakija

Wed

5/31

Film

Varda in California

Photo: Lions Love (...and Lies). Courtesy Janus Films.

In a line from Agnès Varda’s 1969 Lions Love (…and Lies) that defines the French essayist extraordinaire’s work abroad in California, actress and director Shirley Clarke states that Varda “never know[s] whether [she is] in a movie or making one.” Both are one and the same; the real and cinematic worlds melt into a nearly indivisible whole animated by Varda’s foreigner’s curiosity. For Varda, opportunity lies everywhere: tracing her own far-off family connections in Sausalito (1967’s Uncle Yanco); navigating the margins of Los Angeles’s loneliness-breeding urban sprawl (1981’s Documenteur); traveling to Oakland for a Black Panther demonstration (1968’s Black Panthers); meditating on the color, culture, and diversity of L.A. murals (1980’s Mur Murs); and, perhaps most poignantly, sending up the era-appropriate excess and counterculture of the Hollywood Hills, all while breaking the fourth wall to achieve something as exquisite and simple as a shared breath (Lions Love). All these works feature in BAMcinématek’s two-week survey of Agnès Varda’s California.

—Samuel B. Prime

Art

Exploratory Works

Through the mid–twentieth century, before cameras became portable enough for remote fieldwork, wildlife researchers with the New York Zoological Society were still relying on a cadre of illustrators to record what they saw. Collected during expeditions to the tropics, these exquisitely detailed drawings of flora and fauna — including the stomach contents of a blackfin tuna — showcase a notable partnership between art and science. The pictures are all the more impressive for having been completed on location, in jungle or beachside shacks that artist Mark Dion will re-create for the exhibit.

—Robert Shuster

Music

We Resist

Le Poisson Rouge’s “We Resist” series puts jazz improvisers on point to drop their political P.O.V.s along with their musical ideas, which often go hand-in-hand. This month’s show uses guitars as a bulwark against deceit. The roiling action of Harriet Tubman’s new album, Araminta, sounds like it could turn things around with a single power chord. The trio, with Brandon Ross’s strings up front, tilts toward a mix of Jimi’s Gypsies and Vesuvius erupting. The James Brandon Lewis trio, one of the most combustible tenor sax outfits in action right now, hashtags #punkrock and #energy when they’re ‘Gramming, and best of all live up to the insurgence those terms conjure. Special guest Anthony Pirog joins them to throw in some reliably keen guitar notions. Proceeds go to the artists’ fave charities.

—Jim Macnie

Dance

Rioult Dance NY

Billed as “an American modern dance company with a European sensibility,” Pascal Rioult’s troupe leads off this season — just in time, before Britain exits Europe — with a new piece to four songs by the English prog-rock/heavy metal band Deep Purple. Fire in the Sky, with costumes by Patricia Field and David Dalrymple, is the French-born Rioult’s first stab at choreographing to rock music. A longtime principal with the Martha Graham Dance Company, Rioult formed his own ensemble in 1994, dedicating his energies to choreography; sharing this bill is his restaging of his 21-year-old Te Deum, to an eponymous score by Arvo Pärt — the first time he has allowed another dancer to perform it. Mondo, whose style merges urban fashion with dancewear, is designing the costume.

—Elizabeth Zimmer