LES Picks

The Lower East Side is bustling this spring and May 7th and 8th will be a peferect time for art and performances in conjunction with the annual New York Festival of Ideas. Here are TEN  hand-picked highlights:

1. Caoimhghin O’Fraithile “Three Times Ten” @ Stoyanov Gallery (29 Orchard Street NY NY)

On view till 15 May: Ó Fraithile’s structures have transformed varied sites from Japan to Ireland to Dallas, sometimes remote or forgotten but always with an attentive connectivity to their surroundings.  Simple materials such as bamboo, cloth, thatching, fire and water become almost primordial in the artist’s hands, referring to nature’s inevitable and sometimes merciless, cyclical change. The inclusion of ritualistic ceremonies and performances in collaboration with the immediate community establish a fundamental reverence for the land, the inhabitants and their developmental history.

2. Russell Nachman “Palimpsest II: Apostles, Prophers & Messiahs” @ LMAK projects (139 Eldridge Street NY NY)

On view till 8 May: Nachman’s watercolors further his notion of the romantic disposition in a contemporary aesthetic culture that has lost its use for metaphysics. This is an exploration of raw emotion, fitted within the context of an imaginary, proto-Christian document, unearthed from some undetermined time in the past.  The watercolors are composed of Christian/Pagan tropes, talismans and icons, holding the attentions of a band of Kabuki-like characters.

3. Shannon Plumb “The Window Series” @ SmartSpaces (200 Lafayette Street NY NY)

On view till 1 June: In a series of short videos created for public display, Plumb stages scenarios featuring her unique personas as viewed through a window. With a compelling sense of character and comic timing, Plumb places passersby in the position of spontaneous voyeur.

4.  David Shapiro “Money Is No Object” @ Sue Scott Gallery (1 Rivington Street NY NY)

On view till 19 June: Embarrassingly personal and strangely generic, David Shapiro redrew and repainted all his personal bills and receipts for one year, revealing the common denominator of consumption as both distinctive and banal.

5. Kristen Zwicker  “1000 Hearts” @ Michael Mut Gallery (97 Avenue C NY NY)

On view till 28 May: Videos and multimedia participatory installation document artists taking to the streets of New York, distributing stickers saying “Love Yourself,” and hand-folded origami hearts with messages about things that people love about themselves.

6. Robert Melee “This is For You” @ Invisible-Exports (14A Orchard Street NY NY)

On view till 8 May: A looped screening shows five dancers interpreting nine physical acts including “imitate a chicken” and “lick your biceps” for Melee’s 2003 performance at Judson Church in an ode to a new era of performance art.

7. Markus and Daniel Freitag “Compost-Canteen” @ Salon 94 (1 Freeman Alley NY NY)

Brothers and creators of fashionable Freitag messenger bags host a Canteen to produce compost on site. Come eat with us, grab a limited compost handbag, and bring your compost to grow a special plant.

8. “Electronic Highways” @ culturehub (47 Great Jones Street, 3rd Floor NY NY)

On view 7 May and 8 May: In a daylong open studio, exhibitions of telematic works that explore blurred boundaries and the networked screen will be punctuated by a trilogy of live telepresence performances inspired by Nam Jun Paik, connecting artists in four cities.

9. Marc Breslin “Refuse” @ Scarmaouche (52 Orchard Street NY NY)

On view till 5 June: Marc Breslin debuts his video Refuse—which examines the daily movements of the Sanitation Department in Brooklyn—accompanied by a performed sound piece excavating William S. Burroughs’s Dead City Radio.

10. Zine Night @ The Hole (312 Bowery NY NY)

7 May from 7PM till midnight: Drinks, food, and music accompany the live, collaborative manufacturing of zines exploring the networked, sustainable, reconfigured, and heterogeneous city—especially as they exist in The Hole’s downtown NYC community. Key artists will be there working and facilitating. EVERYONE can make a zine to take home!

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