Who: Lee Ufan, Michelle Yun
What: Discussion between artist Lee Ufan and curator Michelle Yun
Where: Rose Conference Hall, Asia Society, 725 Park Ave. at 70th St., 212-288-6400
When: Wednesday, March 8, free with advance registration, 6:30
Why: In conjunction with Asia Week New York, Korean-born conceptual artist and philosopher Lee Ufan will sit down with Michelle Yun, Asia Society Museum senior curator of modern and contemporary art, for “Touching Infinity: A Conversation with Lee Ufan.” A painter, sculptor, and leader of the Mono-ha (“School of Things”) movement, Lee had a dazzling exhibition in 2011 at the Guggenheim, “Lee Ufan: Marking Infinity,” about which we wrote, “Lee emphasizes how experiencing his work is built on the concept of relationship, between humans and nature, the artist and the object, the viewer and the installation, different objects within a piece, and even the exhibition and the museum itself.” The talk will focus on the eighty-year-old Lee’s recent residency at famed porcelain company Manufacture de Sèvres and his work in clay.
Who: Glenn Ligon, Samora Pinderhughes
What: National YoungArts Foundation Salon Series
Where: New York Live Arts Theater, 219 West 19th St., 212-691-6500
When: Sunday, March 5, $10, 2:00
Why: In 2011, New York City–based visual artist Glenn Ligon had a major midcareer retrospective, “Glenn Ligon: America,” at the Whitney. In 2009, Berkeley high school pianist and composer Samora Pinderhughes was named a YoungArts Winner in Jazz Keyboard. On March 5 at 2:00 at New York Live Arts, the two will take part in the latest edition of the National YoungArts Foundation Salon Series, “Critical Junctures: Glenn Ligon,” as they look at pivotal moments in their creative process while placing it in sociohistorical context. The Salon Series, which “brings together creative alumni voices and offers audiences an opportunity to engage with internationally renowned and emerging artists,” will be back at New York Live Arts on May 14 with “Critical Junctures: Alexei Ratmansky,” in which the Russian-American choreographer will be in conversation with 2011 YoungArts Dance Winner and ABT soloist Cassandra Trenary.
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, March 4, free, 5:00 - 11:00
The Brooklyn Museum goes feminist to the hilt with the First Saturday program “Future Feminisms,” part of its 2017 theme “A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum.” There will be live performances by Charlotte Dos Santos, Buscabulla, and Natasha Diggs with #SoulInTheHorn; a Blues Lounge Bar; a screening of Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’s The Trans List, followed by a discussion with writer Kate Bornstein and DJ and philanthropist Lina Bradford, facilitated by the Sylvia Rivera Law Project; a hands-on art workshop in which participants can make wearable handmade paper flowers inspired by the new exhibit “Georgia O’Keefe: Living Modern”; a Postcard Write-In hosted by Forward March NY; a Scholar Talk with Linda Grasso about her upcoming book Equal Under the Sky: Georgia O’Keeffe and Twentieth-Century Feminism; a screening of Suha Araj’s The Cup Reader and Pioneer High; pop-up gallery talks on “Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty,” hosted by teen apprentices; a tour of “Georgia O’Keefe: Living Modern” led by guest curator Wanda Corn; and the Brooklyn premiere of Fatimah Asghar and Sam Bailey’s web series Brown Girls, followed by a talkback with members of the cast and crew, moderated by Lindsay Catherine Harris. In addition, you can check out such exhibits as “Iggy Pop Life Class by Jeremy Deller,” “The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago,” “Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty,” “Infinite Blue,” “A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt,” and, at a discounted admission price of $12, “Georgia O’Keefe: Living Modern.”
Who: Billie Jean King, David M. Rubenstein
What: Discussion with athlete and activist Billie Jean King
Where: The Robert H. Smith Auditorium, New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at Richard Gilder Way (77th St.), 212-873-3400
When: Tuesday, March 7, $48, 6:30
Why: In conjunction with the March 8 opening of “Saving Washington” in the Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery and the April unveiling of the Center for Women’s History at the New-York Historical Society, the institution is hosting a series of special events focusing on women’s history, beginning with a lecture by Amanda Foreman, “The Ascent of Woman,” on March 1 and a conference on “Reproductive Rights in Historical Context” on March 5. On March 7, “An Evening with Billie Jean King” features the groundbreaking tennis superstar and social justice activist talking about her life and career and her longtime fight for gender equality, in a wide-ranging conversation hosted by philanthropist David M. Rubenstein. In 2009, the winner of thirty-nine Grand Slam titles was the first female athlete and LGBTQ community member to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. “We honor what she calls ‘all the off-the-court stuff’ — what she did to broaden the reach of the game, to change how women athletes and women everywhere view themselves, and to give everyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation — including my two daughters — a chance to compete both on the court and in life,” President Obama said in presenting her the medal. “Tennis is a platform, and I fight for everybody,” King said. Throughout March, the historical society will also display items from King’s personal archives. Among the other upcoming programs are “Women and the White House” moderated by Lesley Stahl on March 9 and a screening of Woman of the Year on March 24 with remarks by Kati Marton.
French Institute Alliance Française, Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th St. between Madison & Park Aves.
Tuesday, February 28, $30, 7:30
Series continues Tuesday nights through March 21
Over the years, FIAF has shown many films by Nouvelle Vague master Agnès Varda, the celebrated auteur behind such classics as Vagabond, Cléo from 5 to 7, The Gleaners and I, Jacquot de Nantes, and The Beaches of Agnès. Now the French Institute Alliance Française is bringing Varda herself to Florence Gould Hall for the special talk “Agnès Varda: Visual Artist,” taking place on February 28 at 7:30, moderated by art dealer Olivier Renaud-Clément. The Belgium-born, France-based Varda, who was married to Jacques Demy for nearly thirty years, will be focusing not only on her film career but her upcoming gallery show at Blum & Poe, which runs March 2 to April 15. The discussion also kicks off FIAF’s CinéSalon series “Agnès Varda: Life as Art,” which consists of Varda’s Daguerréotypes on March 7, with the 7:30 screening followed by a talk with Varda and curator Laurence Kardish, Jacqot de Nantes on March 14, and Lola on March 21. This is a very special chance to see the remarkable eighty-eight-year-old Varda, so get your tickets now.
“The Ballad of Sexual Dependency is the diary I let people read. My written diaries are private; they form a closed document of my world and allow me the distance to analyze it. My visual diary is public,” Nan Goldin wrote about her seminal 1985-86 multimedia exhibition and book. “There is a popular notion that the photographer is by nature a voyeur, the last one invited to the party. But I’m not crashing; this is my party. This is my family, my history.” Goldin and the Museum of Modern Art are currently inviting everyone to the party, showing The Ballad of Sexual Dependency in its complete audiovisual form through April 16. Consisting of nearly seven hundred portraits set to music by James Brown, Maria Callas, the Velvet Underground, Nina Simone, and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Ballad is set primarily amid the heroin subculture of downtown New York from 1979 to 1986, just as AIDS started ravaging the city, as well as in Berlin, Paris, Boston, Provincetown, and Mexico. Born in Washington, DC, in 1953, Goldin, who left home when she was just fourteen, took intimate photos of her chosen family — friends, lovers, junkies, drag queens, and others, including artists Greer Lankton and Vivienne Dick, actress and writer Cookie Mueller, Andy Warhol, Jim Jarmusch, and performer Suzanne Fletcher. Deeply affected by her sister Barbara’s suicide — she killed herself in 1964 at the age of eighteen, when Nan was eleven — Goldin sees the photos as a way to hold on to her memories. The photos are not chic glamour shots but instead captured moments of real life, with natural lighting and what would technically be considered imperfect composition. Yet they have an immediacy and emotion that overstaging and multiple takes would ruin. Although reminiscent of the work of Larry Clark and Diane Arbus, Ballad finds Goldin boldly revealing her life, particularly in two of the most famous shots, one of her boyfriend Brian sitting on the edge of a bed, smoking a cigarette, as sunlight pours in over Goldin’s face on a pillow, her eyes slyly looking at him, while in the other, a horribly beaten Goldin — the culprit was Brian —looks into the camera, her left eye nearly swollen shut, her red lipstick, dangling earrings, and pearl necklace defining her feminism and strength.
On February 8 at 11:30 am, independent educator Diana Bush will lead a Gallery Session at MoMA, “Nan Goldin: The Personal Is Political,” exploring the relationship between photography, memory, and diary, elements that are central to Goldin’s entire oeuvre, which also includes such books and series as “I’ll Be Your Mirror” and “The Devil’s Playground.” (You can find out more about Goldin in Sabine Lidl’s 2013 documentary, Nan Goldin — I Remember Your Face.) Named after a song in Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s 1928 classic, The Threepenny Opera (“They’re all the same / In meeting love’s confusion / Poor noble souls / Get blotted in illusion”) — The Ballad of Sexual Dependency is in its own viewing room at MoMA, where visitors feel like guests at this decades-old party, watching photos of acquaintances pass by, each one a not-so-distant memory tinged with joy and sadness. The central slide show is supplemented by numerous posters from the early versions of Ballad as well as silver dye bleach prints of more than a dozen of the photos, including “The Parents’ Wedding Photo, Swampscott, Massachusetts,” “Trixie on the Cot, New York City,” “Nan One Month After Being Battered,” and “Philippe H. and Suzanne Kissing at Euthanasia, New York City.” Goldin also wrote in the Ballad book, “The diary is my form of control over my life. It allows me to obsessively record every detail. It enables me to remember.” Extended through April 16, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency is hard to forget.