Performance Space New York
150 First Ave. at East Ninth St.
Sunday, February 18, free, 6:00 pm - 1:00 am
After a major renovation, one of downtown’s best and most diverse venues is back, as Performance Space New York, formerly known as PS122, celebrates its return with a free event on Sunday night, “Avant-Garde-Arama.” Kicking off the East Village Series, the festivities will feature live performances from six to nine on several stages by a vast array of creators, including Adrienne Truscott, Erin Markey, Hamm, Holly Hughes, John Kelly, John Zorn, La Bruja of Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Penny Arcade, Pharmakon, Reggie Watts, and Sister Jean Ra Horror, among many others. At nine, a dance party takes over, with JD Samson, Justin Strauss, and more. The evening’s hosts are the Factress (Lucy Sexton), Carmelita Tropicana, and Ikechukwu Ufomadu. On its website, the venue declares, “Performance Space New York was born in the East Village in 1980 as Performance Space 122 when a group of local artists occupied the empty building that had been home to Public School 122 and started making performance work as a passionate rejection of corporate mainstream culture. Today, almost forty years later, Performance Space New York is faced with a radically transformed neighborhood unaffordable for young artists and a national political climate that feeds off social inequity more than ever. Moving back into our newly renovated spaces, the inaugural East Village Series asks what kind of art organization we need to become in light of this ever-more-exclusionary social and political context.” The East Village Series continues through June with such presentations as “Focus on Kathy Acker,” “Women’s History Museum,” Diamanda Galás and Davide Pepe’s Schrei 27, a world premiere by Sarah Michelson, Tiona Nekkia McClodden’s CLUB, Penny Arcade’s Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore!, and Chris Cochrane, Dennis Cooper, and Ishmael Houston-Jones’s Them.
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, February 3, free, 5:00 - 11:00
The Brooklyn Museum honors Black History Month with its free February First Saturday program, featuring live performances by Aaron Abernathy, the Skins, Brooklyn Dance Festival, Everyday People, Latasha Alcindor (presenting All a Dream: Intro to Latasha), and Urban Word NYC, including teen poets William Lohier, Shakeva Griswould, Roya Marsh, Jive Poetic, and Anthony McPherson, hosted by Shanelle Gabriel; a screening of Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis’s Whose Streets? followed by a discussion with Folayan and museum Teen Night Planning Committee senior member Elizabeth Rodriguez; pop-up gallery talks by teen apprentices in the “American Art” galleries; a community talk by Kleaver Cruz, founder of the Black Joy Project; a Black Joy photo booth with photographer Dominique Sindayiganza; a hands-on workshop inspired by the scratch and resist technique of Jean-Michel Basquiat; a curator talk by Eugenie Tsai on Basquiat’s “Untitled” (1982), part of the exhibition “One Basquiat”; and the community talk “Malcolm X in Brooklyn” by oral historian Zaheer Ali. In addition, the galleries will be open late so you can check out “One Basquiat,” “Roots of ‘The Dinner Party’: History in the Making,” ““Arts of Korea,” “Infinite Blue,” “Ahmed Mater: Mecca Journeys,” “Rodin at the Brooklyn Museum: The Body in Bronze,” “A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt,” and more.
Who: Jane Birkin, Elia Einhorn
What: An evening with Jane Birkin
Where: French Institute Alliance Française, Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th St. between Madison & Park Aves., 212-355-6160
When: Monday, January 29, $35, 7:00
Why: In 2010, London-born French actress, model, and singer appeared at the French Institute Alliance Française for two concerts and a staged reading with Wajdi Mouawad. On January 29, she returns to FIAF for a conversation, Q&A, and book signing three days before her highly anticipated “Birkin Gainsbourg The Symphonic” show at Carnegie Hall with Wordless Music Orchestra, pianist Nobuyuki Nakajima, and special guest Rufus Wainwright. In 2013, Birkin told the Independent that she found it “very flattering to have the most beautiful songs, probably, in the French language written for one,” referring to Gainsbourg, who passed away in 1991 at the age of sixty-two, while also asking, “How much talent did I really have? Perhaps not that much.” Birkin first caught the public’s attention with roles in such films as Richard Lester’s The Knack . . . and How to Get It, Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup and Kaleidoscope, and Joe Massott’s Wonderwall. (She has also been in films by Jacques Rivette, James Ivory, and Hong Sang-soo.) Birkin is most famous for the ten-year relationship she had with Serge Gainsbourg, with whom she made several films and records, including the album and movie Je t’aime . . . moi non plus; they also had a child together, actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg (Antichrist, Melancholia). In addition, Birkin has children from her relationships with British composer John Barry and French director Jacques Doillon, as well as five grandchildren. The seventy-one-year-old philanthropist and two-time César nominee recently announced her retirement from acting after starring in the Oscar-winning short La femme et le TGV. Birkin’s achievements are many, but for the fashion-obsessed crowd, she’s probably most adored as the inspiration for the Hermés Birkin bag — one can barely type it without calling it “the iconic Birkin bag” — an incredibly expensive, instantly recognizable handbag from the high-end French accessories firm. The English-language conversation at FIAF, moderated by Pitchfork’s Elia Einhorn, will be followed by a signing of Birkin’s Attachments, her 2014 photo-essay collaboration with photographer Gabrielle Crawford.
For the January 28 edition of its Sunday Sessions series held in the VW Dome, MoMA PS1 is teaming with Topical Cream, a self-described “New York-based platform [that] has supported a community of artists, writers, designers, and technologists through digital publishing and public programming initiatives.” From 2:00 to 6:00, there will be live performances, readings, film, and installations exploring how artists deal with self-preservation and resistance. The afternoon includes a performance by Analisa Teachworth with Jonas Wendelin, videos presented by Jacksonville-based artist Redeem Pettaway, live music by Zsela and Deli Girls, and a new piece by Julia Scher on surveillance and security. In addition, there will be video and poetry in the main museum building by Michelle Young Lee, Sara Hornbacher, Sarah Zapata, Maya Martinez, Rin Johnson, Sophia Le Fraga, and Natasha Stagg.
Who: Catherine Cusset, Eric Mourlot
What: Conversation and book signing
Where: French Institute Alliance Française, Le Skyroom, 55 East 59th St. between Madison & Park Aves., 212-355-6160
When: Wednesday, January 24, $35, 7:00
Why: On January 24, French writer Catherine Cusset will be at FIAF to discuss her new book, Vie de David Hockney, which explores the intersection of the life and work of British painter David Hockney as she imagines he thinks and feels about it. Farther uptown, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is currently hosting a superb Hockney retrospective, an expansive, color-drenched exhibition that continues through February 25. Cusset, who has written such award-winning novels as Le problème avec Jane and L’autre quvon adorait, will be speaking with Eric Mourlot, the founder of Galerie Mourlot on East Seventy-Ninth St., whose family has been in the art business for more than a century. The conversation, which will take place in English, will be followed by a book signing
January 14 - March 24
America came of age in the 1960s, from the assassinations of JFK, RFK, MLK, and Malcolm X to Vietnam and the Summer of Love. Carnegie Hall is paying tribute to the turbulent decade with the two-month series “The ’60s: The Years that Changed America,” inspired by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Robert A. Caro. The native New Yorker, who turned eighty-two this past October, is the author of such books as The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York and the four-part The Years of Lyndon Johnson, with a fifth tome on the way. “Luther King gave people ‘the feeling that they could be bigger and stronger and more courageous than they thought they could be,’ Bayard Rustin said — in part because of the powerful new weapon, non-violent resistance, that had been forged on the Montgomery battlefield,’” Caro wrote in Master of the Senate, a quote obviously apt for MLK Day. Running January 14 through March 24 all across the city, the festival features concerts, panel discussions, film screenings, dance, art exhibitions, and more. Below are only some of the many highlights; keep watching this space for more additions.
Sunday, January 14
Saturday, March 24
“Max’s Kansas City,” photos and writings, Mark Borghi Gallery, free
Friday, January 19
“You Say You Want a Revolution: Remembering the Sixties,” Library After Hours opening night program with experimental films, album-cover workshop, games and puzzles, curator tour led by Isaac Gewirtz, dance party with Felix Hernandez, and more, exhibit continues through September 1, the New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, free, 7:00
Kronos Quartet, works by Stacy Garrop (world premiere inspired by “I Have a Dream” speech), Zachary J. Watkins (world premiere inspired by Studs Terkel), Terry Riley, John Cage, and Janis Joplin, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, $62-$72, 9:00
Tuesday, January 23
Friday, May 18
“The Global Interconnections of 1968,” Kempner Exhibition Gallery, Butler Library (sixth floor), Columbia University, free
Thursday, January 25
Snarky Puppy with David Crosby and Friends, including Chris Thile and Laura Mvula, Stern/Perelman at Carnegie Hall, $26-$100, 8:00
Friday, January 26
Bernard and Irene Schwartz Classic Film Series: Coming Home (Hal Ashby, 1978), Justice in Film presentation introduced by Susan Lacy, New-York Historical Society, free with pay-what-you-wish museum admission, 7:00
Tuesday, February 6
Sunday, February 11
March, duet from Lessons inspired by civil rights movement, part of winter season program by Ronald K. Brown / Evidence, a Dance Company, the Joyce Theater, $26-$46
Friday, February 16
“Philip Glass Ensemble: Music with Changing Parts,” Stern/Perelman at Carnegie Hall, $14.50 - $95, 8:00
Wednesday, February 21
“The Summer of Law and Disorder: Harlem Riot of 1964,” panel discussion, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, free with advance registration beginning February 7, 6:30
Tuesday, March 13
Bernard and Irene Schwartz Distinguished Speakers Series: “The ’60s from Both Sides Now: An Evening with Judy Collins,” in conversation with historian Harold Holzer, New-York Historical Society, $38, 6:30
Saturday, March 24
“The Vietnam War: At Home and Abroad,” multimedia presentation with Friction Quartet performing George Crumb’s “Black Angels” and more groups to be announced, narrated by John Monsky, Zankel at Carnegie Hall, $35-$45, 2:00