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This Week: Must-See Arts in the City

WNYC's Arts Datebook: June 16 - 22

Thursday, June 16, 2011 - 12:00 AM

WNYC
The cyberpunk stylings of the voluble Ryan Trecartin go on view at MoMA PS1 in Queens — expect total YouTube-esque weirdness. Shown here: a still from his video piece 'Ready (Re'Search Wait'S). The cyberpunk stylings of the voluble Ryan Trecartin go on view at MoMA PS1 in Queens — expect total YouTube-esque weirdness. Shown here: a still from his video piece 'Ready (Re'Search Wait'S). (Image courtesy the artist and Elizabeth Dee, New York)

Internet culture deconstructed (and reconstructed) at MoMA PS1, a street-influenced biennial at El Museo, a forest of fabric grows in Chelsea and an artist gets people to confess their deepest, darkest secrets. Plus: there are all kinds of artsy hijinks going down in Williamsburg. Here's our guide to what's hopping in the arts world in Gotham this weekend.

Ryan Trecartin: Any Ever at MoMA PS1 According to the press release, the sculptural video installations in this exhibit “embark on poetic, formal, and structural elaborations of new forms of technology, language, narrative, identity, and humanity, portraying an extra-dimensional world that channels the existential dramas of our own.” Translation: he takes a Ronco Veg-O-Matic to YouTube culture, producing hallucinatory videos with weirdly attired, squeaky voiced characters that don’t necessarily adhere to the conventions of linear narrative. The show at PS1 represents the first New York museum solo for this hype-saturated artist, who is beloved by curators in search of all things that slice and dice Internet culture. Trecartin certainly has a distinct voice and his visuals can be riotous -- but, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that I can’t help but find his work annoying. Honestly, I’d much rather sit around and watch glowpinkstah’s Avatar makeup tutorial -- not to mention this animated GIF. If you hit the show, let me know what you think. I’m always open to having my mind changed. In the meantime, Rhizome has a preview of one of the pieces in the show. Opens Sunday, in Long Island City.

Bienal: The (S) Files at El Museo del Barrio Biennials tend to be hit-and-miss affairs, broad surveys of everythingness that don’t amount to much in the end. That makes this year’s “Bienal” of Latino and Latin American artists at the Museo del Barrio a nice surprise -- it's tightly held together by a theme that focuses on the street. This includes pieces by known street and graffiti artists (such as Cope2 and Lady Pink), as well as works that explore various aspects of street culture, from the disconcerting sight of a car roof emerging straight out of the gallery floor to D.I.Y. instruments crafted out of found objects. In the latter category, don’t miss the hacked together turntables produced by Thessia Machado, which create beats and scrapes through the strategic placement of junk. This year’s biennial will also feature various off-site installations and performances -- including an event at the Socrates Sculpture Park, in Queens, this Sunday at 5 P.M. Check the Web site for all the listings. Through January 8, on the Upper East Side.

PearlDamour + Shawn Hall, How to Build a Forest at the Kitchen The artist duo of Katie Pearl and Lisa D’Amour, along with New Orleans artist Shawn Hall, are transforming the Kitchen’s cavernous galleries and performance areas into a “forest” made of fabric that visitors are free to wander through. The piece will evolve over the course of the exhibit, as the artists add and remove bits. If you’re looking for a more heightened experience, join one of the organized walks of the install by the folks at Elastic City (whom we teamed up with last summer for a very unique sound tour of Brooklyn). Opens Friday at 2 P.M. (through Sunday), in Chelsea.

LAST 10 DAYS: Gillian Wearing, People at Tonya Bonakdar Gallery This exhibit -- a mix of video installation and photography -- left me gasping. Specifically, a second floor video install called "Secrets and Lies," in which Wearing runs a projection of various mask-clad people confessing some of their deepest secrets: a 57-year-old virgin, a woman who stabbed her husband, another who is having an affair. The intimate box-like setting gives the piece a sense of urgency and intimacy -- forcing the viewer to stare right into the eyes of the confessors. If you’re going to see one thing in the coming week, be sure it’s this. (Hat tip to Art Fag City for the enthusiastic heads up.) Through June 24, in Chelsea.

Plus, there’s a number of interesting/entertaining/destructive events going down in Williamsburg this weekend:

  • Presents: 3 Months of Mail Art for Hyperallergic HQ The Brooklyn-based arts blog has gotten artists from all over the world to create ingeniously crafted works that are then submitted through the post. Overall, a fine opportunity to go postal. The pieces will be on view at Hyperallergic’s offices, this Friday, from 6 to 9 P.M.
  • Crest Fest at Crest Hardware This lovable Williamsburg exhibit and party takes place every year in a sprawling hardware store on Metropolitan Avenue, with works displayed amid the spackle and the nails. Now in its fourth iteration, it’s bigger and badder than ever, with musical performances and DJs throughout the day. Gothamist got a sneak peek. Opens Saturday at 1 P.M.
  • Boxhockey at Pandemic Gallery Two broom handles, a hockey puck and a box -- and you’ve got a violently fun game known as boxhockey (a concept refined by musician Derek Pippin, of Tight Chocolate, Dead Betties and Fur Cups for Teeth). Pandemic will be showcasing artist editions of the game -- and will also have plenty of bloodsport on site. This should be a hella fun opening party. Opens Saturday at 7 P.M.
At El Museo del Barrio, the (S) Files, the museum's biennial exhibit, is now open for viewing. Shown here, Alberto Borea's installation 'Rainbow (Arcoiris),' constructed out of discarded plastic bags.
Carolina A. Miranda
At El Museo del Barrio, the (S) Files, the museum's biennial exhibit, is now open for viewing. Shown here, Alberto Borea's installation 'Rainbow (Arcoiris),' constructed out of discarded plastic bags.
This year's El Museo biennal focuses on works inspired by street culture, such as Jessica Kairé's 'Objetos de confort,' in which the artist creates 'weapons' out of bright, feminine fabrics.
Carolina A. Miranda
This year's El Museo biennal focuses on works inspired by street culture, such as Jessica Kairé's 'Objetos de confort,' in which the artist creates 'weapons' out of bright, feminine fabrics.
El Museo's street theme means that street art and graffiti styles are well represented. Seen here: 'A Salute to the Postal Sticker,' by Carlos Jesus Martinez Dominguez.
Courtesy of the artist and the U.S. Postal Service
El Museo's street theme means that street art and graffiti styles are well represented. Seen here: 'A Salute to the Postal Sticker,' by Carlos Jesus Martinez Dominguez.
One of the more stunning pieces in El Museo's biennial is this sculpture by Hatuey Ramos-Fermín, which explores the working lives of livery cab drivers in East Harlem.
Carolina A. Miranda
One of the more stunning pieces in El Museo's biennial is this sculpture by Hatuey Ramos-Fermín, which explores the working lives of livery cab drivers in East Harlem.
Also of the street, literally: This installation by Ishmael Randall Weeks, in which he created a fragmented representation of a famous work of poetry using the brand letters on old tires.
Carolina A. Miranda
Also of the street, literally: This installation by Ishmael Randall Weeks, in which he created a fragmented representation of a famous work of poetry using the brand letters on old tires.
There was a strong D.I.Y./craft vibe running through the (S) Files, such as Janelle Iglesias' 'Bridge and tunnel kids have more fun,' a sculptural instrument made from found furniture.
Carolina A. Miranda
There was a strong D.I.Y./craft vibe running through the (S) Files, such as Janelle Iglesias' 'Bridge and tunnel kids have more fun,' a sculptural instrument made from found furniture.
At El Museo: Irvin Morazán crafts pre-Columbian-inspired pieces (such as Ghettoblaster Headdress, above) that he uses in public performances. A video, in the rear, plays footage from one of these.
Carolina A. Miranda
At El Museo: Irvin Morazán crafts pre-Columbian-inspired pieces (such as Ghettoblaster Headdress, above) that he uses in public performances. A video, in the rear, plays footage from one of these.
Art you can play: Pandemic Gallery in Williamsburg is hosting a show devoted to boxhockey, the most fun you can have with a wood box and a set of broom handles.
Courtesy Pandemic Gallery
Art you can play: Pandemic Gallery in Williamsburg is hosting a show devoted to boxhockey, the most fun you can have with a wood box and a set of broom handles.
Artful boxhockey by Keely at Pandemic. Bring your fighting spirit to this show...
Courtesy Pandemic Gallery
Artful boxhockey by Keely at Pandemic. Bring your fighting spirit to this show...
PearlDamour and Shawn Hall will be installling a hand-crafted
Photo by Timothy Atticus, courtesy The Kitchen
PearlDamour and Shawn Hall will be installling a hand-crafted "forest" inside the Kitchen's experimental art space in Chelsea that visitors can meander through as it is being worked on.
The installation inside the Kitchen will continue to evolve over the course of the show, from forest-like growths to underwater spectacle. Shown here: artists at work on the piece.
Photo by Timothy Atticus, courtesy The Kitchen
The installation inside the Kitchen will continue to evolve over the course of the show, from forest-like growths to underwater spectacle. Shown here: artists at work on the piece.
At MoMA PS1: Ryan Trecartin's videos, which channel internet culture's most ADD tendencies. Above, a still from the 'Roamie View : History Enhancement (Re'Search Wait'S).'
Image courtesy the artist and Elizabeth Dee, New York
At MoMA PS1: Ryan Trecartin's videos, which channel internet culture's most ADD tendencies. Above, a still from the 'Roamie View : History Enhancement (Re'Search Wait'S).'

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About Gallerina

Carolina A. Miranda is a regular contributor to WNYC and blogs about the arts for the station as "Gallerina." In addition to that, she contributes articles on culture, travel and the arts to a variety of national and regional media, including Time, ArtNews, Travel + Leisure and Budget Travel and Florida Travel + Life. She has reported on the burgeoning industry of skatepark design, architectural pedagogy in Southern California, the presence of street art in museums and Lima's burgeoning food scene, among many other subjects. In 2008, she was named one of eight fellows in the USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program for her arts and architecture blog C-Monster.net, which has received mentions in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. In January of 2010, the Times named her one of nine people to follow on Twitter. Got a tip? E-mail her at c [@] c-monster [dot] net

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