This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

JON FADDIS QUARTET: 61st BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

Jon Faddis continues the birthday celebration at Dizzy's through July 27 (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Jon Faddis continues his birthday celebration at Dizzy’s through July 27 (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Jazz at Lincoln Center
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola
Broadway at 60th St.
July 24-27, $40-$45, 7:30 & 9:30
212-258-9800
www.jalc.org
www.terangajazz.com

Musician, conductor, composer, and educator Jon Faddis couldn’t have picked a more perfect place to celebrate his “reverse-sweet-sixteen” birthday than Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, a beautiful, intimate venue named for Faddis’s mentor, Dizzy Gillespie, who once said about his protégé, “He’s the best ever, including me!” Trumpeter Faddis, joined by David Hazeltine on piano, Todd Coolman on bass, and Dion Parson on drums, paid tribute to his past during a dazzling early show on opening night, July 24, his actual birthday. As the sun slowly set on Central Park, the soft-spoken California native recalled such fellow jazzmen as Clark Terry, Michael Brecker, Roy Eldridge, Thad Jones, Lionel Hampton, and others as he played “Waltz for My Fathers & Brothers,” entered the Faddisphere on a gorgeous rendition of Lalo Schifrin’s five-movement “Gillespiana,” and even sang lead on Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” He joked with the audience and a table of Russians, traded trivia with host Phil Schaap, and smiled at Hazeltine’s feet as one of the piano pedals made a surprise musical squeak, which actually melded well with Faddis’s horn, in fine form all evening as Faddis effortlessly reached ridiculously high notes and crafted mesmerizing melodies. After Schaap led the crowd through “Happy Birthday,” Faddis was presented with a cake, receiving help from his three-year-old son in blowing out the candles. Not quite done yet, Faddis encored with part of “Teranga” before leaving the stage, only to come back out and hang for a bit with his adoring fans for handshakes, photos, and fist bumps. The Jon Faddis Quartet continues its celebratory run at Dizzy’s at 7:30 and 9:30 through July 27.

THE KILL TEAM

(photo by Dan Krauss)

Specialist Adam Winfield shares his frightening story in award-wining documentary THE KILL TEAM (photo by Dan Krauss)

THE KILL TEAM (Dan Krauss, 2013)
Film Society of Lincoln Center, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center
144 West 65th St. between Broadway & Amsterdam Ave.
July 25-31
212-875-5601
www.filmlinc.com
www.killteammovie.com

Ten years ago, Dan Krauss made the Oscar-nominated short The Death of Kevin Carter: Casualty of the Bang Bang Club, telling the harrowing story of a South African war photographer struggling with his decision to take a photo of a starving Sudanese girl being stalked by a vulture rather than trying to help her. In his feature debut, Krauss documents the emotional tale of another man at a crossroads in The Kill Team. Intrigued by the April 2011 New York Times Magazine article “A Beast in the Heart of Every Fighting Man” about a homicidal military platoon in Afghanistan, Krauss follows Specialist Adam Winfield as he faces one count of premeditated murder. After discovering that several of his fellow soldiers had purposely gone out looking to kill an innocent man, then drop a weapon to make it appear that the victim was a terrorist, Winfield sent an agonizing message to his father, a former Marine: “I want to do something about it. The only problem is I don’t feel safe here telling anyone.” Winfield went along on one of the kill missions, which were led by Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs, and eventually blew the whistle on Gibbs and the others, but his nightmare continued.

Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs hovers over documentary like an evil villain (photo by Max Becherer / Polaris)

Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs hovers over documentary like an evil villain (photo by Max Becherer / Polaris)

Krauss first became part of the defense team, shooting video pro bono for lawyer Eric Montalvo and filming his meetings with Winfield, his father, and his mother, Emma. Krauss also speaks with other members of the company, Corporal Jeremy Morlock, Private First Class Andrew Holmes, and another whistleblower, Private First Class Justin Stoner, all of whom were facing serious charges as well. Krauss shifts between Winfield’s trial preparation and the soldiers’ reconstruction of their wartime experience while also taking a look back at Winfield’s childhood. By refusing to participate in the film, Gibbs becomes a sort of mythic master villain, part William Calley Jr., part Colonel Kurtz. The Kill Team, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, does an excellent job of making viewers wonder what they would do not only in Winfield’s position but in any situation that sets moral priorities against physical safety. However, Krauss is too manipulative of reality in favor of his desired narrative. When he interviews Morlock, Holmes, and Stoner, the outcome of their trials are already known, but he saves the details for the end, and he deleted a very different closing scene because it didn’t fit with the points he wanted to make, about the military justice system and moral injury. Still, The Kill Team is an important story about war, sacrifice, family, and the evil that men do. The seventy-nine-minute documentary is having an exclusive one-week theatrical run at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, with Krauss on hand for Q&As with journalist and Oscar-winning screenwriter Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) after the 7:15 screenings on July 25 and 26.

CHELSEA ART WALK SUMMER 2014

Churner and Churner will host live performances during opening reception for Ander Mikalson’s “Three’s Company for Eight Performers” during Chelsea Art Walk

Churner and Churner will host live performances during opening reception for Ander Mikalson’s “Three’s Company for Eight Performers” during Chelsea Art Walk

Multiple locations in Chelsea
Thursday, July 24, free, 5:00 - 8:00
www.artwalkchelsea.com

More than one hundred galleries from Sixteenth to Thirtieth Sts. between Ninth and Eleventh Aves. will keep their doors open until 8:00 tonight for the fifth annual Chelsea Art Walk. The evening includes open studios, artist talks, panel discussions, book signings, receptions, photo shoots, and other events. Below are some of our recommended highlights.

Agora Gallery
Wearable Art Photo Shoot: Everyone is invited to show up wearing some kind of self-made art (clothing, makeup, hair, nails), 530 West 25th St., 6:30 – 7:30

Bertrand Delacroix Gallery
Sneak peek at Federico Infante’s fall exhibition, “The Space Between,” including raffle of original Infante drawing, 535 West 25th St., 5:00 – 8:00

Churner and Churner
Performance and reception for opening of Ander Mikalson’s “Three’s Company for Eight Performers,” 205 Tenth Ave., three performances, 5:00 – 8:00

Dean Borghi — NBR Contemporary
Book reading, White Collar Slavery: Based on a Bit of Truth and a Few White Lies by Laurance Rassin and Tracy Memoil, 5:00; live music by Clusterfunk and short film Art Sharks, 6:00 - 8:00, 547 West 27th St.

Hauser & Wirth
Sterling Ruby “Sunrise Sunset” panel discussion with Michael Darling, Jeremy Strick, and Huma Bhabha, 511 West 18th St., 6:30

Onishi Project
Opening reception for group show “Summer Garden” featuring works by Osamu Kobayashi, Shinji Murakami, and Gail Stoicheff, with free special Mizu Shochu cocktails and live performance by Zander Padget at 7:00, 521 West 26th St.

Sragow Gallery
“The Art of Painting Portraits,” lecture by artist Alphonse van Woerkom, 115 West 30th St., 5:15

Yossi Milo Gallery
Book signing, Horizons by Sze Tsung Leong, 245 Tenth Ave., 6:00 – 8:00

GUITAR BAR WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT 2014

Hoboken’s Guitar Bar will try to set a world record for most people playing the same song on July 24 in Sinatra Park

Hoboken’s Guitar Bar will try to set a world record for most people playing the same song on July 24 in Sinatra Park

Sinatra Park
Sinatra Drive between Fourth & Fifth Sts., Hoboken
Thursday, July 24, free, 7:00
www.facebook.com/events

At the May 2012 Thanks Jimi Festival in Wrocław, Poland, 7,273 guitarists set the world record for most people playing the same song, Hendrix’s “Hey Joe.” On July 24 at 7:00, Hoboken’s Guitar Bar will attempt to set a new high when they bring together instrumentalists of all skill levels in Sinatra Park to play Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.” The world record attempt will be led by the Guitar Bar All Stars, teachers and staff of the popular Guitar Bar and the nearby Guitar Bar Jr. The setlist will also feature some combination of David Bowie’s “Heroes,” the Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane,” Patti Smith’s “Gloria,” Outkast’s “Hey Ya!,” Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash’s “Jackson,” Hank Williams’s “Jambalaya,” the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine,” Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35,” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days” and “Jersey Girl.” Feel free to just show up with whatever instrument you want; you can get a song tutorial here.

AI WEIWEI: ACCORDING TO WHAT?

Ai Weiwei, “Stacked,” stainless-steel bicycles, 2014 (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Ai Weiwei, “Stacked,” stainless-steel bicycles, 2014 (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Brooklyn Museum
Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing, fourth and fifth floors
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Wednesday - Sunday through August 10, $15
Art Off the Wall: “Ai Weiwei: According to What?,” July 24, $15, 6:00
718-638-5000
www.brooklynmuseum.org
www.aiweiwei.com

Over the last decade, Ai Weiwei has become the most famous, and arguably the most important, artist in the world. The multidisciplinary artist and activist, the son of a poet and activist father, helped design the National Olympic Stadium, aka the Bird’s Nest, for the 2008 Beijing Summer Games, was beaten by police in Chengdu in 2009, had his influential blog shut down by the Chinese government that same year, then was arrested in 2011, his whereabouts unknown for eighty-one days as people around the globe demanded his release. Through it all, Ai, who has been under house arrest since 2011, has remained steadfast in his dedication to challenge belief systems, question the status quo, and explore social issues in his art. All that and more is evident in the impressive “Ai Weiwei: According to What?,” a touring survey that is in the midst of its final stop at the Brooklyn Museum, where it continues through August 10. “Rather than thinking of my projects as art, they attempt to introduce a new condition, a new means of expression, or a new method of communicating,” Ai tells Kerry Brougher in a Q&A in the exhibition catalog, in which he references Ludwig Wittgenstein, Andy Warhol, Confucius, Donald Judd, and Sergei Eisenstein in a few short pages. “If these possibilities didn’t exist, I wouldn’t feel the need to be an artist.”

Ai Weiwei’s “S.A.C.R.E.D” invites visitors to see details of his eighty-one-day imprisonment (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Ai Weiwei’s “S.A.C.R.E.D” invites visitors to see details of his eighty-one-day imprisonment (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

The exhibition began in 2009 at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo but continued to morph as it made its way through North America toward Brooklyn, where several pieces have been added. Upon entering the Brooklyn Museum’s front lobby, visitors are greeted by “S.A.C.R.E.D.,” six iron boxes that contain detailed re-creations of scenes from Ai’s imprisonment — being led into his small cell by guards, being interrogated, eating, sleeping, using the bathroom, under constant surveillance — instantly turning the Beijing-based artist into a heroic, bigger-than-life figure. The rest of the show, spread across two upper floors, confirms that Ai is indeed a hero, his sculptures, photographs, films, repurposed found objects, and installations all having political, historical, and social relevance, dealing with individual freedom, human rights, and the search for the truth.

Video installations play a large role in Ai Weiwei exhibition (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Video installations play a large role in Ai Weiwei exhibition (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

There is critical meaning behind every work, sometimes obvious, as in the marble “Surveillance Camera” and photographs in which Ai shoves his middle finger at Tiananmen and the White House, and often less clear at first, as in “He Xie,” a pile of more than three thousand porcelain crabs gathered at the center of a room. The piece references a dinner of river crabs that Ai, who could not attend because of his house arrest, organized shortly before his Shanghai studio was going to be torn down by the government; the title of the piece sounds like the word “harmonious,” which echoes the communist phrase “a harmonious society.” Ai consistently values people above material objects, mocking monetary worth. In “Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn,” three photographs depict him letting an ancient ceramic vase fall from his hands, smashing at his feet. “Stacked” consists of hundreds of silver bicycles in a dazzling array, not only evoking the popular means of transportation in China but the mass production of consumer goods, in this case made by a company called Forever.

Ai Weiwei, “Straight,” seventy-five tons of steel rebar, 2008-12 (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Ai Weiwei, “Straight,” seventy-five tons of steel rebar, 2008-12 (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Ai has spent much of the last few years investigating the aftereffects of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, in which poorly constructed buildings, including schools, resulted in approximately ninety thousand missing or dead men, women, and children. For “Straight,” Ai had workers take twisted steel rebar from the sites of the building collapses and pound them back into their original straight form, then laid them out in a vast landscape that appears unfinished, as more bodies need to be found and identified. The victims of the earthquake, who have been mostly ignored by the government, are given back their identities in “Sichuan Namelist,” an inkjet print listing casualties, and “Remembrance,” a nearly four-hour recording on which a voice reads the names of the students who died in the tragedy. The children are also memorialized in “Snake Ceiling,” in which hundreds of children’s backpacks form a serpentine figure lurking above.

Ai Weiwei, “Snake Ceiling,” backpacks, 2009 (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Ai Weiwei, “Snake Ceiling,” backpacks, 2009 (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

“Ai Weiwei: According to What?” also includes dozens of Ai’s photographs from his time in New York City; repurposed furniture that comments on Chinese tradition and the actual map of the country; his film Stay Home!, about a woman who contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion when she was a little girl; the installation “Ye Haiyan,” in which Ai has collected the belongings of a women’s rights activist who keeps getting evicted from her home; a video documenting his “Fairytale” project, in which he brought 1,001 Chinese people, from all classes, to Documenta in Kassel; and works that detail his brain injury suffered at the hands of police. The exhibition is splendidly curated by Sharon Matt Atkins, allowing plenty of space for contemplation of these bold, inspiring works by an artist who is not afraid to speak his mind, fully aware of what the consequences might be. “The relationship between thought and action is the most important source of human wisdom and joy,” Ai says at the end of the catalog interview. “With both, the process of turning art into reality is the path to happiness. It’s like a game. Only through this process can we understand who we are. So the game will continue.” The captivating exhibition — which is positive and delightfully engaging despite the serious nature of so much of its subject matter — makes you want to be part of that game. On Thursday, July 24, there will be a special evening “Art Off the Wall” program, consisting of a talk by Matt Atkins at 6:00, a presentation and workshop by the Asian American Oral History Collective at 6:30, Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai’s multimedia spoken-word piece “Ai Weiwei: The Seed” at 7:30, and a Chinese calligraphy workshop and DJ set at 8:30. (To see Ai answer questions from museum visitors, go here.)

CEDAR LAB

Five Cedar Lake dancers will present new choreographic works as part of new Cedar Lab

Five Cedar Lake dancers will present new choreographic works as part of new Cedar Lab initiative

Cedar Lake Theater
547 West 26th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.
Tuesday, July 29, and Wednesday, July 30, free, 7:00 & 8:30
www.cedarlakedance.com

In the last few odd-numbered years, Chelsea-based Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet has presented a summer intensive where dance students work with the sixteen-member company to create an immersive 360° installation in which the performance reaches into a variety of physical spaces. This summer, recently promoted artistic director Alexandra Damiani has created Cedar Lab, an initiative in which five of the dancers will choreograph new pieces; the works-in-progress will be unveiled to the public for free July 29-30. “As we reach our ten-year anniversary, this is an opportune time for Cedar Lake to consider where we would like to go in the next decade,” Damiani, who was ballet master under pervious artistic director Benoit-Swan Pouffer, said in a statement. “By investing in the talent of our dancers, who have time and again proven themselves to be insatiably gifted individuals, I hope that Cedar Lab will open new creative doors for our dancers and reinforce our position as a leading voice in the creation and performance of contemporary dance.” The five dancers — Jon Bond (The Devil Was Me), Navarra Novy-Williams (three solos for women), Matthew Rich (dance film), Joaquim de Santana (gender-defying duet), and Vânia Doutel Vaz (seven dancers exploring communication) — will not just choreograph the pieces but work with lighting, set and costume design, and music and sound to get the full experience. The shows will take place at 7:00 and 8:30; admission is free, first come, first served.

OLAF BREUNING: CLOUDS

Olaf Breuning’s “Clouds” offer a fun respite at Central Park entrance (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Olaf Breuning’s “Clouds” offer a fun respite at Central Park entrance (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Scholars’ Gate, Doris C. Freedman Plaza
Central Park entrance, 60th St. & Fifth Ave.
Through August 24, free
www.publicartfund.org
clouds slideshow

While the weather continues to be unpredictably crazy, it’s been nothing but blue clouds at the southeast entrance to Central Park since late winter. Yes, that’s right — not blue skies or white clouds but sky-blue clouds, offering a Magritte-like vista nearly three dozen feet high. In March, Swiss-born, New York-based artist Olaf Breuning installed “Clouds” on Doris C. Freedman Plaza at Scholars’ Gate on Sixtieth St. and Fifth Ave., a half dozen polished and painted aluminum clouds in different shades of blue, posted atop what look like ramshackle ladders that evoke a shaky stairway to heaven. The clouds were based on a childlike drawing by Bruening, inspired by a 2008 project in Italy in which he had cranes and cherry pickers lift six cloud constructions to the sky in order to take a photograph; he initially drew blue clouds instinctively, then decided to leave them that color and not make them white. For New York, the clouds will remain up for approximately five months, through August 24, appearing to change color as the weather goes from stormy to blazing hot, with gray skies giving way to bright, shiny days. The clouds also interact with the park entrance, particularly now against the lush green background. Breuning often infuses his work with a childlike wonder and playfulness, as evidenced by such whimsical exhibitions as “The Art Freaks” and “Small Brain Big Stomach,” shown in recent years at Metro Pictures in Chelsea, and his colorful “Smoke Grid,” which exploded at Art Basel in Miami in December. “Clouds” manages to spread a little sunshine even on the darkest days, especially if you catch them at just the right angle, melding into the real sky above one of the most popular places in the city.