Aperture Gallery and Bookstore
547 West 27th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.
Wednesday, March 12, suggested donation $5, 6:30
Exhibition continues through March 27
In such series as “Screen Lives,” “Time Frame,” and “City Stages,” French-born photographer Matthew Pillsbury has taken pictures of New York and other urban locations (London, Paris, Vancouver, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Miami) with a black-and-white eight-by-ten camera, using exposures ranging from a few minutes to an hour. The results are mysterious, mesmerizing photos that capture several moments in time at once, a kind of past, present, and future rolled together in an often ghostly evocation of an alternate reality mimicking our own. “City Stages” features such locales as Zuccotti Park, the High Line, the Main Reading Room in the New York Public Library, and Washington Square Park in addition to such events as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Village Halloween Parade, and the Lunar New Year Parade, while “Time Frame” goes to the Guggenheim, Grand Central, and the American Museum of Natural History; “Screen Lives” features more personal interiors, with shots of people in rooms with a television on. In conjunction with his current show at Aperture, Pillsbury will be at the Chelsea gallery on March 12 at 6:30 to lead a tour of the exhibition and to sign copies of his first monograph, City Stages (Aperture, October 2013, $55.25), which contains works from all three series. The “City Stages” exhibit will remain on view through March 27 at Aperture; in addition, Pillsbury’s “Nate and Me,” which focuses on the photographer and his former partner who still works with him, is running at Sasha Wolf on Orchard St. through April 20.
FESTIVAL NEUE LITERATUR 2014: NEW WRITING FROM AUSTRIA, GERMANY, SWITZERLAND, AND THE U.S.
February 28 - March 2, free with advance RSVP
For the fifth annual Festival Neue Literatur, a half dozen up-and-coming German-language authors, two each from Germany (Olga Grjasnowa, Abbas Khider), Austria (Milena Michiko Flašar, Maja Haderlap), and Switzerland (Melinda Nadj Abonji, Richard Weihe), will meet with two established American writers (Monique Truong, Keith Gessen) to contemplate the role of reading and writing in today’s quickly changing global society in conjunction with this year’s theme, “Border Crossings.” The three-day festival begins at 1:00 on February 28 at Deutsches Haus Columbia with “Encounters Across the Ocean,” which pairs the six European novelists with six students each from the Department of Germanic Languages and the Creative Writing Program. On March 1 at 6:00 at the powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn, curator Tess Lewis will moderate “Memory and Language: Angels or Demons,” a discussion with Haderlap, Nadj Abonji, Michiko Flašar, and Truong that addresses such questions as “To what extent does language determine identity and one’s understanding of the world?” and “Is the fickleness of memory a burden or a liberation?” Sunday begins with a noontime Literary Brunch at Deutsches Haus NYU in which the six European writers will read from their works; German fare will be served. Things come to a close on Sunday night at 6:00 at McNally Jackson with “Search for Roots: Exile’s Revolving Doors,” with Grjasnowa, Khider, Weihe, Gessen, and moderator Lewis examining the questions “Are we all ‘rootless cosmopolitans’ now?” and “What is rootedness today?” As preparation, the 2014 reader, which includes samples of works from the six German-language writers and promises that you will “discover famous Austrian, German, and Swiss authors nobody in the U.S. has heard of,” can be downloaded for free here.
BRIGGS & HAMILTON
Julie Meneret Contemporary Art
133 Orchard St.
Wednesday, February 26, free, 6:00
Briggs exhibition continues Wednesday - Sunday through March 30
British photographer Jonny Briggs will be making his U.S. debut this week with the solo show “Monstrares,” running February 26 through March 30 at Julie Meneret Contemporary Art, a new gallery that opened this past fall on Orchard St. on the Lower East Side. In his work, Briggs, the 2011 winner of the Saatchi Gallery and Channel 4’s New Sensations Prize, explores his memories of childhood and family, brought to life in carefully staged installations using latex molds in photographs that are not digitally manipulated. “In search of lost parts of my childhood I try to think outside the reality I was socialised into and create new ones with my parents and self,” he explains in his artist statement. “I look back to my younger self and attempt to recapture childhood nature through my assuming adult eyes.” His work evokes that of Bernardí Roig, Ron Mueck, Will Ryman, and even a hint of Cindy Sherman, while the title is a sly combination of the Latin word for “show” or “display” and the English word “monster.” The opening-night party on February 26 will feature special guest Saskia Hamilton, who will read poems she wrote that were inspired by Briggs and his photography. Hamilton, who is the title subject of the Ben Folds and Nick Hornby song “Saskia Hamilton” (“I’ve only ever seen her name on the spine / But that’s enough I wanna make her mine”), has previously published such poetry books as Divide These and As for Dream; her latest, Corridor, is due in May from Graywolf Press.
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, February 1, free, 5:00 - 11:00 (some events require free tickets distributed in advance at the Visitor Center)
The February edition of the Brooklyn Museum’s free First Saturdays honors Black History Month with programs related to African American art and culture. The evening will include pop-up gallery talks focused on works by African American artists currently on view at the museum, a camera phone workshop by Instagram activist Ruddy Roye, a Hands-On Art workshop in which participants learn how to hand-color historical photographs, a screening of Shukree Hassan Tilghman’s 2012 documentary More Than a Month about Black History Month, live music by Tysmé, Honey Larochelle, and Chris Faust, a dance performance by Niles Ford Urban Dance Collective, a movement workshop led by the Hip-Hop Dance Conservatory, a fashion show hosted by Global Village, and a talk by transgender activist Janet Mock about her new book, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love and So Much More, moderated by Michaela Angela Davis. In addition, the galleries will be open late, giving visitors plenty of opportunity to check out “Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey,” “War / Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath,” “Twice Militant: Lorraine Hansberry’s Letters to ‘The Ladder,’” “Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt,” “Life, Death, and Transformation in the Americas,” “Connecting Cultures: A World in Brooklyn,” “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk,” and other exhibits.
Since 1980, Northern New Jersey-raised Debra L. Rothenberg has been taking pictures of hometown hero Bruce Springsteen, capturing the Boss with the genuine glee of a true fan. “My life was breathing, photography, and Bruce Springsteen; nothing else mattered,” she recently said upon the release of her first book, Bruce Springsteen in Focus 1980-2012: Photographs by Debra L. Rothenberg (Turn the Page, September 2013, $44.95). In celebration of Springsteen’s latest record, High Hopes, Rothenberg, an award-winning photographer who has contributed to such publications as Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and, since 1999, the Daily News, will be signing copies of the book at a reception for her exhibit featuring many of her best Bruce snaps at Rock Paper Photo’s pop-up spot at Gallery 151. Part of the proceeds from sales of the book will go to the Alzheimer’s Association, the Light of Day foundation for Parkinson’s research, and the National Breast Cancer Foundation. On January 18, Rothenberg will be at the Asbury Park Musical Heritage Foundation, where another display of her Springsteen photographs continues through March 2.