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


 Diane von Furstenberg photo by Lorenzo Agius. Alina Cho photo by Paul Bobadilla Sangster

Diane von Furstenberg (photo by Lorenzo Agius) and Alina Cho (photo by Paul Bobadilla Sangster) will sit down for an “Atelier” talk at the Met on December 2

Who: Alina Cho and Diane von Furstenberg
What: Met Museum Presents: “The Atelier with Alina Cho”
Where: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, 1000 Fifth Ave. at 82nd St., 212-570-3949
When: Wednesday, December 2, $40 (includes museum admission), 6:30
Why: Last year, journalist and editor presented the inaugural season of “The Atelier with Alina Cho,” in which Cho sat down at the Met with such fashionistas as Anna Wintour and Donatella Versace. Cho is kicking off her sophomore season on December 2 with legendary icon Diane von Furstenberg, discussing art, ideas, and much more, in conjunction with the paperback publication of DVF’s memoir, The Woman I Wanted to Be (Simon & Schuster, October 2015, $17). “Living is learning, and as I look back at the many layers of experience I collected, I feel ready to share some of the lessons I learned along the way,” von Furstenberg writes in the book’s introduction. “Living also means aging. The good thing about aging is that you have a past, a history. If you like your past and stand by it, then you know you have lived fully and learned from your life. Those are the lessons that allowed me to be the woman I am.”


Frank Stella, “The Whiteness of the Whale (IRS-1, 2X),” paint on aluminum, 1987 (© 2015 Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photograph by Steven Sloman)

Frank Stella, “The Whiteness of the Whale (IRS-1, 2X),” paint on aluminum, 1987 (© 2015 Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society; photograph by Steven Sloman)

Whitney Museum of American Art
Neil Bluhm Family Galleries, fifth floor
99 Gansevoort St.
Friday, November 13, 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Saturday, November 14, 11:00 am - finish
Free with museum admission of $18-$22

Last November’s second biennial Moby-Dick Marathon took place over the course of three days at the Ace Hotel, the South Street Seaport Museum, and the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. This year a bonus marathon is being held November 13-14 on the fifth floor of the new Whitney, where more than 150 artists, writers, curators, editors, and others will celebrate the 164th anniversary of Herman Melville’s thousand-page 1851 epic with a two-day marathon reading in conjunction with Frank Stella’s Moby-Dick series, part of a major retrospective of the work of the Massachusetts-born, New York-based artist that continues through February 7. Stella created the works for a special 150th anniversary publication of Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, containing reproductions of sculptures, reliefs, prints, and a mural inspired by the tale of Captain Ahab’s desperate hunt for the title mammal. Among the myriad scheduled readers of the massive tome are Ben Greenman, Brian Floca, Trisha Baga, Alan Light, Morgan Parker, AK Burns, Lucky DeBellevue, Monica de la Torre, Salman Rushdie, Melissa Febos, Paul Rome, Rebecca Dinerstein, Kurt Andersen, Ben Fama, Angela Flournoy, and Rowan Ricardo-Phillips, with more to be announced.


Mark Hogancamp tries to rebuild his life in a carefully constructed alternate reality using dolls

Mark Hogancamp tries to rebuild his life in a carefully constructed alternate reality using dolls

MARWENCOL (Jeff Malmberg, 2010)
IFC Center
323 Sixth Ave. at Third St.
Tuesday, November 10, 8:00
Series continues through November 24

Named Best Documentary at numerous film festivals across the country, Marwencol offers a surprising look inside the creative process and the fine line that exists between art and reality. On April 8, 2000, Mark Hogancamp was nearly beaten to death outside a bar in his hometown of Kingston, New York. He spent nine days in a coma and more than a month in the hospital before being released, suffering severe brain damage that has left his memory a blur. To help put his life back together, he began using toys and dolls — Barbies, celebrity replicas, army men — to re-create his personal journey. He makes dolls of his friends and relatives, the people he works with, and others, constructing an alternate WWII-era universe he calls Marwencol, complete with numerous buildings and plenty of Nazis. He captures the detailed story in photographs that are not only fascinating to look at but that also help him figure out who he was and who he can be. This miniature three-dimensional world is reminiscent of the two-dimensional one carefully fashioned by outsider artist Henry Darger in his fifteen-thousand-page manuscript, The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, which also features an alternate reality involving military battles set amid stunning artwork. Director, producer, and editor Jeff Malmberg makes no judgments about Hogancamp, and asks the same of the audience. In his first full-length film, Malmberg shares the compelling story of a deeply troubled, flawed man suddenly forced to begin again, using art and creativity to bring himself back to life. He speaks with Hogancamp’s mother, his old roommate, the prosecutor who handled his case, and others who are first seen proudly holding the doll Hogancamp made of them. And Malmberg doesn’t turn away from the more frightening aspects of Hogancamp’s daily existence. Marwencol is an unforgettable portrait of lost identity and the long road to redemption. The film is screening November 10 at 8:00 as part of the IFC Center series “Stranger Than Fiction” and will be followed by a Q&A and book signing with Hogancamp and producer Chris Shellen, who collaborated on the new book Welcome to Marwencol (November 3, Princeton Architectural Press, $29.95).


Details of four works in the Connecting Cultures installation, from top: Girl in a Japanese Costume, circa 1890, William Merritt Chase; Seated Shakyamuni Buddha, late 19th–early 20th century; Warrior Figure, Huastec, 13th or 14th Century; Mask (Ges), 19th century

Details of four works in the “Connecting Cultures” installation, from top: “Girl in a Japanese Costume,” circa 1890, William Merritt Chase; “Seated Shakyamuni Buddha,” late 19th–early 20th century; “Warrior Figure,” Huastec, 13th or 14th century; “Mask (Ges),” 19th century

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, November 7, free, 5:00 - 11:00

The Brooklyn Museum is making its long-term installation, “Connecting Cultures: A World in Brooklyn,” the focus of its November free First Saturday program. There will be live performances by Ilusha Tsinadze, Lafawndah, and OSHUN, an artist talk and performance by calligraphy master Wang Dongling, a calligraphy workshop with Society of Scribes, a movement workshop with Afro Flow Yoga, a music workshop with Afrika Meets India, a book club discussion with Patricia Park about her novel Re Jane, Belladonna* poetry readings by R. Erica Doyle, Kyoo Lee, and Nathanaël Stephens, a curator talk with Kevin Stayton, an interactive reading by Selina Alko of B Is for Brooklyn for kids, pop-up gallery talks, an art workshop inspired by Syrian mosaics, and Brooklyn Film Festival screenings of Girls Gone J-1 (Mikhail Shraga & Alina Smirnova, 2014), Green Card (Pilar Rico & David Whitmer, 2014), and Born into This (Lea Scruggs & Sean Ryon, 2014). In addition, the galleries are open late so you can check out such other exhibitions as “Impressionism and the Caribbean: Francisco Oller and His Transatlantic World,” “Kara Walker: ‘African Boy Attendant Curio (Bananas),’” “KAWS: ALONG THE WAY,” “Ai Weiwei: LEGO Collection Point,” and “Zanele Muholi: Isibonelo/Evidence.”


john cleese so anyway

Who: John Cleese
What: Reading and talk in conjunction with paperback release of So, Anyway . . . (Three Rivers Press, September 2015, $16)
Where: NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Pl., 212-992-8484
When: Saturday, November 14, $65.75 – $125, 6:30
Why: “I made my first public appearance on the stairs up to the school nurse’s room, at St. Peter’s Preparatory School, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, England, on September 13, 1948. I was eight and five-sixths. My audience was a pack of nine-year-olds, who were jeering at me and baying, ‘Chee-eese! Chee-eese!’ I kept climbing the steps, despite the feelings of humiliation and fear. But above all, I was bewildered. How had I managed to attract so much attention? What had I done to provoke this aggression? And . . . how on earth did they know my family surname had once been Cheese?” So begins So, Anyway . . ., the memoir of one of the funniest men in the history of the world, Monty Python and Fawlty Towers legend John Cleese. On November 14, the star and writer of A Fish Called Wanda and cinematic portrayer of the Black Knight, Tim the Enchanter, Deadly Dirk, Nearly Headless Nick, King Harold, Q, and many other roles, will be climbing the steps of NYU’s Skirball Center on November 14, to talk about his wild and wacky life and career and all that attention and aggression. The four-time-married, self-described “writer, actor & tall person,” who is also a bit of a silly walker, is visiting Boston, Chicago, and New York celebrating the release of the paperback edition of the book. VIP tickets ($125) come with a signed copy of So, Anyway . . . and a photo opp with Mr. Cleese. Be sure to join in the chants of “Chee-eese! Chee-eese!”


Alfredo Jaar. The Ashes of Pasolini, 2009. Video: 38:00. Courtesy the artist, New York.

Alfredo Jaar, THE ASHES OF PASOLINI, 2009. Video: 38:00 (Courtesy the artist, New York)

Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Ave. at Second St.
Sunday, November 1, free, 12:30 pm

Chilean artist, architect, and filmmaker Alfredo Jaar honors the fortieth anniversary of the mysterious murder of Pier Paolo Pasolini with a special presentation at Anthology Film Archives on November 1. “Pasolini 40 Years Later: with Alfredo Jaar and Norman MacAfee” consists of a screening of Jaar’s 2009 documentary, The Ashes of Pasolini, the launch of a new artist book, Pier Paolo Pasolini: The Ashes of Gramsci, readings from the iconoclastic Italian writer and director’s poetry, and a discussion about Pasolini’s life and work. Jaar will be joined by writer, visual artist, literary translator, and freelance book editor Norman MacAfee for the event. Jaar has written that The Ashes of Pasolini — a eulogy for Pasolini inspired by Pasolini’s poem “The Ashes of Gramsci,” which was a eulogy for Italian theoretician Antonio Gramsci — “is a modest film about the death of an extraordinary intellectual. . . . As you know, it is still unclear who killed him. But for me, it has always been clear why: it was because of fear. Fear of his voice, fear of his life style, fear of his ideas, fear of his opinions, fear of his intellect. He was the totally complete intellectual: a filmmaker, a poet, a writer, a journalist, a critic, a polemist. He was totally involved in the cultural and political life of his time. As an artist he took risks, broke the rules, he created his own rules.” The tribute will be followed by a book signing and reception; the book will be available for purchase for $10.


Mimi Sheraton will be interviewed by Michael Gross at special lunch event at Rotisserie Georgette

Mimi Sheraton will be interviewed by Michael Gross at special lunch event at Rotisserie Georgette

Rotisserie Georgette
140 East 60th St. between Madison & Fifth Aves.
Saturday, October 31, $59 (plus tax, tip, and book purchase), 12 noon

Brooklyn-born restaurant critic Mimi Sheraton will be at Rotisserie Georgette on October 31 at 12 noon, interviewed by Manhattan-born author Michael Gross, focusing on Sheraton’s most recent book, 1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die: A Food Lover’s Life List. As they discuss food and real estate — quite a healthy topic, as so many New York City eateries have closed or moved because of skyrocketing rents — guest will dine on Barigoule d’Artichauts and Brandade de Morue as an appetizer, Poulet Rôti “Farnèse” and Pomme Aligot for the main course, and Chocolate Pot de Crème for dessert, all taken from the book. Afterward, there will be a book signing with both Sheraton, who has also written such tomes as From My Mother's Kitchen: Recipes and Reminiscences and The Bialy Eaters, and Gross, author of such nonfiction works as 740 Park and House of Outrageous Fortune.