THE ROOF GARDEN COMMISSION
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden
1000 Fifth Ave. at 82nd St.
Daily through October 31, recommended admission $12-$25
MetFridays: Friday, October 28, 6:30
Don’t let Halloween pass by without a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In her Guardian nomination for 2016 Visionary, British artist Cornelia Parker hinted at her upcoming Met Roof Garden commission, saying, “I always think of New York as Europe on steroids, so I’m celebrating American culture, but through European eyes. I’ll make something that adds to the view.” Her site-specific installation went up in April, and it will remain as a temporary addition to the view of the New York City skyline visible from the roof through, appropriately enough, Halloween. “Transitional Object (PsychoBarn)” is a multilayered construction that melds fiction with reality, a soothing work that is just the right amount of twisted. Using materials obtained from a dismantled Dutch red barn in Schoharie in Upstate New York, Parker has re-created the facade of the creepy Victorian house from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, where Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) lived with his mother. The Psycho house, which itself was just a facade on a Hollywood studio set, was inspired by Edward Hopper’s “House by the Railroad,” so Parker, who was raised on a farm in rural Cheshire, where there were black barns, is referencing American pop culture, art history, and her own personal story. She’s also combining a kind of good and evil duality; barn raisings, for example, are a joyous community event, while the Psycho house evokes gloom and doom, murder and madness.
As if revealing the twenty-eight-foot-tall work’s inner psyche, Parker keeps the back open so visitors can see the scaffolding and heavy water tanks that keep the facade from collapsing, which relates to her new artist book, Verso, in which she explores the front and back of button holes. “Transitional Object” is named for the medical term for a security blanket, an item that brings children comfort as they grow up and spend less time with their mother — except maybe for Norman Bates, who created a rather unique transitional object for himself. The structure blends in well with the city skyline, which features many a building that just might be haunted, while also offering fun-house-style reflections in the Met’s mirrored wall by the rooftop bar. Parker, who has previously placed Tilda Swinton in a glass case at the Serpentine Gallery for “The Maybe” and blew up a garden shed for “Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View,” will be at the Met on October 28 at 6:30 to talk about the project as part of the MetFridays presentation “Artists on Artworks — Cornelia Parker,” which is free with museum admission and is first-come, first-served; stickers will be handed out twenty minutes before the event. For more Halloween joy, MetLiveArts is screening the Peanuts holiday classic It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on October 29 at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm, with live music by Rob Schwimmer and his ensemble, followed by costume parades.
CINÉSALON: ADIEU PHILIPPINE (Jacques Rozier, 1962)
French Institute Alliance Française, Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th St. between Madison & Park Aves.
Tuesday, October 25, $14, 4:00 & 7:30
FIAF’s two-month CinéSalon series “Beyond the Ingénue” comes to a close October 25 with one of the lesser-known French New Wave classics, Jacques Rozier’s shamefully seldom screened Adieu Philippine. Rozier’s first film is a freewheeling adventure as Michel (Jean-Claude Aimini), a young man working in a television studio, cavorts with a pair of eighteen-year-old best friends, Juliette (Stefania Sabatini) and Liliane (Yveline Céry), while waiting to be called up to serve in the Algerian War. Rozier opens the film by taking viewers into the studio, where they are shooting a lively jazz performance by French violinist Maxim Saury and his band, the bouncy rhythm meeting the behind-the-scenes chaos. Pretending to be more important than he really is, Michel invites Juliette and Liliane to come in, and soon the trio is hitting cafés and nightclubs, camping on the beach, and trying to hook up with would-be filmmaker Pachala (Vittorio Caprioli). But what started out as fun gets somewhat more serious as jealousy creeps in and the war intervenes.
Adieu Philippine is an exhilarating tale of teenage freedom, of youth taking advantage of all life has to offer no matter one’s circumstance, fighting off ennui with a mad desire to just have fun. Rozier, who wrote the screenplay with Michèle O’Glor, allowed the cast of mostly nonprofessional actors to improvise and dubbed in dialogue later, resulting in less-than-stellar syncing that took two years in postproduction but thankfully gets lost in all the wild abandon. In his debut feature, cinematographer René Mathelin (Pardon Mon Affaire, The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe) shoots guerrilla-style in black-and-white, a kind of cinéma vérité in which passersby and people in the background often look at the camera, wondering what is going on. Adieu Philippine shares a soul and spirit with the early work of such auteurs as Jean-Luc Godard (1960’s Breathless), a friend and supporter of Rozier’s; American-born French photographer and documentarian William Klein (1958’s Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?), and François Truffaut, whose similarly themed Jules et Jim was also released in 1962, but Adieu Philippine has a charm all its own. Rozier, who turns ninety on November 10, would make only a handful of other features, including 1985’s Maine-Ocean and 2001’s Martingale. A new 35mm print of Adieu Philippine is being shown at FIAF on October 25 at 4:00 and 7:30; the later screening will be introduced by New York Review of Books editor Madeleine Schwartz.
Who: Tara Deal
What: Reading and book signing
Where: Sideshow Gallery, 319 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn
When: Tuesday, October 25, free with advance RSVP (email@example.com) by October 23, 6:30
Why: New York City-based writer Tara Deal will be at Williamsburg’s Sideshow Gallery on October 25 for a reading and signing of her latest book, That Night Alive. Winner of the 2016 Novella Prize from Miami University Press, the novella mixes fiction and memoir, poetry and prose as a crypto-reporter goes back in time, from her last day alive on earth. Deal, who was born in Georgia and raised in South Carolina, has previously written the novella Palms Are Not Trees After All, and her short stories and poems can be found in numerous publications. In conjunction with Causey Contemporary, the gallery is currently showing “Persons of Interest,” featuring new portraits by painter, printmaker, costume designer, and voodoo doll maker Carri Skoczek, who explains in her artist statement, “My work has been an exploration in expressing female sexuality and allure as a vehicle of power.”
Who: Peter Kwong, Liz Moy, Margaret Lee, Juan Puntes, Betty Yu, Julien Terrell
What: Town hall discussion about gentrification and the arts in Chinatown
Where: Artists Space Books & Talks, 55 Walker St.
When: Saturday, October 22, free, 7:00
Why: A group of gallery owners and local activists will be gathering on October 22 at Artist Space on Walker St. for the special panel discussion “Chinatown Is Not for Sale,” in which they will delve into the following issue: “There are currently over one hundred galleries occupying Chinatown, Two Bridges, and the Lower East Side. Can a neighborhood be both a holdout to gentrification and the new art enclave??” Sponsored by Artists Space, Chinatown Art Brigade, and Decolonize This Place, the town hall discussion features Peter Kwong, Liz Moy, Margaret Lee, Juan Puntes, Betty Yu, and moderator Julien Terrell examining the changes downtown, most of which have taken place in the last three years as rents rise and art galleries, luxury housing, and hotels move in. The event is the second in Chinatown Art Brigade’s series of public conversations that began in July with “Chinatown: New York’s Newest Gallery Scene?”
Who: Iggy Pop, Jeremy Deller, Tom Healy
What: Thursday Nights Brooklyn Talks discussion
Where: Brooklyn Museum, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St., 212-864-5400
When: Thursday, November 3, $40-$85, 7:00
Why: On February 21, twenty-one artists gathered at the New York Academy of Art, participating in a special life-drawing class led by Michael Grimaldi. The model that Sunday afternoon was Muskegon native James Newell Osterberg Jr., better known as punk icon Iggy Pop. The artists, ranging in age from nineteen to eighty, were selected by Jeremy Deller and Brooklyn Museum vice director Sharon Matt Atkins. “For me it makes perfect sense for Iggy Pop to be the subject of a life class; his body is central to an understanding of rock music and its place within American culture,” Deller explains on his website. “His body has witnessed much and should be documented.” The resulting exhibition, “Iggy Pop Life Class by Jeremy Deller,” featuring nudes from the class as well as selections from the Brooklyn Museum collection, will open on the fifth floor of the museum on November 4 and run through March 26. On Thursday, November 3, Iggy and Deller will be at the museum for a discussion about art, music, and nudity, moderated by writer and educator Tom Healy. Tickets are $40 for general admission, $65 with a copy of the catalog, and $85 with a copy of the catalog signed by Pop and Deller. Pop was also recently at the New York Film Festival, chatting up the Jim Jarmusch documentary Gimme Danger; the film, which documents the history of Iggy and the Stooges, opens October 28 at IFC Center.
Who: Dick Gregory, Onaje Allan Gumbs
What: Comedy, music, political discussion
Where: Black Spectrum Theatre, Roy Wilkins Recreation Center, 177 St. & Baisley Blvd., Queens, 718-723-1800
When: Saturday, October 22, $35 in advance, $45 at the door, 8:00
Why: This past summer, Joe Morton played comedian and activist Dick Gregory in the excellent show Turn Me Loose. Now you can see the real thing, as Gregory, who just turned eighty-four on October 12, will be at the Black Spectrum Theatre in Queens on October 22, sharing his sociopolitical musings and conspiracy rants about the state of the world; he should be in extra-fine form with the election approaching. (You can get a taste of his thoughts on Donald Trump here.) The evening will also feature a performance by Harlem-born, Queens-raised pianist, composer, and bandleader Onaje Allan Gumbs, who has released such albums as That Special Part of Me, Remember Their Innocence, Sack Full of Dreams, and Just Like Yesterday.
651 Fulton St.
October 15-30, $35-$130
In March, Mikhail Baryshnikov starred in the one-man show Brodsky/Baryshnikov at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, a stirring presentation based on the writings of his friend and fellow Riga native Joseph Brodsky. Now Misha is reteaming with stage impresario and BAM regular Robert Wilson on another one-person show, Letter to a Man, in which Baryshnikov portrays Vaslav Nijinsky, taking the audience on a surreal tour through the legendary Russian dancer’s diaries as he battled mental illness. Baryshnikov was last at BAM in 2014 in Wilson’s The Old Woman with Willem Dafoe, while the Waco-born Wilson, who specializes in wildly inventive audiovisual spectacles, has been putting on shows at BAM since The Life & Times of Sigmund Freud in 1969; he’s staged Einstein on the Beach, The Civil Wars, The Black Rider, Woyczeck, and others there since then. Part of BAM’s 2016 Next Wave Festival, Letter to a Man is directed and designed by Wilson, with text by Christian Dumais-Lvowski, dramaturgy by Darryl Pinckney, music by Hal Willner (with snippets from Tom Waits, Arvo Pärt, Henry Mancini, and Alexander Mosolov), movement collaboration by Lucinda Childs, costumes by Jacques Reynaud, lighting by A. J. Weissbard, sound design by Nick Sagar and Ella Wahlström, and video projections by Tomek Jeziorski. The show runs October 15-30; on October 24, the free program “Inside Nijinsky’s Diaries” will take place at NYU’s Center for Ballet and the Arts, featuring Paul Giamatti reading from the diaries, followed by a panel discussion with Pinckney, Joan Acocella, and Larry Wolff, moderated by Jennifer Homans.