MONDAY, DECEMBER 11
Talk: Fred Moten and Arthur Jafa at CUNY Graduate Center for the Humanities
Fred Moten, the poet and theorist who recently released Black and Blur, the first series in a trilogy of books about blackness and aesthetics, will talk this week with filmmaker Arthur Jafa. Moten will discuss Black and Blur and talk with Jafa about his films, which often take the form of essayistic semi-documentaries that explore race-related issues. Moten’s unconventional approach to theory prompts a “reordering [of] the senses,” not unlike what Jafa aims to do with his work.
CUNY Graduate Center for the Humanities, 365 5th Avenue, Room 9100, 6:30 p.m.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12
Talk: Dana Lixenberg at Aperture Gallery and Bookstore
After the Rodney King trial and subsequent riots, photographer Dana Lixenberg began taking pictures of the residents of the Imperial Courts public housing project in South Central Los Angeles. Over the course of 22 years, she returned to the project again and again, eventually creating a collaborative portrait of the community that meditates on time’s effects on people. (Works from that series are currently on view at the Aperture Gallery, in a show dedicated to the 2017 nominees of the Deutsch Börse Foundation Prize, which Lixenberg won.) At this talk, where she will be in conversation with photographer and writer Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa, Lixenberg will discuss her recent photography.
Aperture Gallery and Bookstore, 547 West 27th Street, 7–8:30 p.m.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14
Opening: Kathleen White at Martos Gallery
Currently on view at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn are two shows dedicated to Kathleen White—one featuring the artist’s work, the other exploring White’s friendship with the photographer Nan Goldin. Like Goldin, White, who died in 2014 of cancer-related causes, found a way in her work to document the sense of loss that pervaded in New York in the 1980s and ’90s, when many were losing loved ones to the AIDS crisis. White’s 1996 sculpture Spirits of Manhattan includes a pile of wigs sitting in a suitcase; there are no people depicted in the work, but the presences of the wigs’ owners is palpable. At Martos Gallery this week, more of the artist’s work will be on view in a show called “A Year of Firsts.”
Martos Gallery, 41 Elizabeth Street, 6–8 p.m.
Performance: Sahra Motalebi at the Kitchen
Returning to the Kitchen after her first outing there, in 2015, Sahra Motalebi will stage Sounds From Untitled Skies, with Directory of Portrayals (from Rendering What Remains), an experimental opera that includes staged events, exhibitions, and a book. The piece is based on an ongoing exchange with Motalebi’s sister, who lives in Iran and whom Motalebi has never met. Multi-channel video sets, spoken word, and music will be used to explore identity, intimacy, and translation as they play out in long-distance relationship mediated mostly by digital technology. The work will be re-performed on December 15.
The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, 8 p.m. Tickets $16/$20
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15
Book Launch: Lyle Ashton Harris at Whitney Museum
Lyle Ashton Harris is known for intimate photographs that blend the personal and the political. In the 1980s and early ’90s, Harris captured the radical cultural scenes emerging in New York, London, Los Angeles, and Rome. A selection of those images—along with journal entries and recollections by friends and colleagues—have been compiled in the newly released Aperture Foundation book Today I Shall Judge Nothing That Occurs. For its launch, a group of speakers including Gregg Bordowitz, Johanna Burton, Kimberly Drew, Christopher Y. Lew, and Mickalene Thomas, along with others, will speak about Harris’s photographs and his ability to create work that encompasses both personal and collective memory.
Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort Street, 6:30 p.m. Tickets $8/$10
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16
Opening: “Club 57: The Lost Flyers 1979–83” at Alden Projects
Running concurrently with the Museum of Modern Art exhibition “Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978-1983,” this show focuses on the more ephemeral artifacts derived from the multipurpose downtown art and party space—namely, xeroxed flyers. Keith Haring spent a few years as a curator at Club 57 before moving onto the similarly eclectic Mudd Club. The exhibition features everything from hand-cut cards by Haring to newsletters for a screening series called the “Monster Movie Club,” whose members included Vincent Price and the punk band the Misfits.
Alden Projects, 34 Orchard St, 5–7 p.m.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17
Convening: “The Shape of Things” at Park Avenue Armory
Carrie Mae Weems will cap her year-long residency at the Park Avenue Armory by convening a group of socially engaged thinkers and the general public for a day of talks, readings, screenings, and installations related to histories of violence and the current American condition. That group includes the artists Tania Bruguera, Arthur Jafa, Malik Gaines, Theaster Gates, and Hank Willis Thomas alongside playwright Lynn Nottage, poet Elizabeth Alexander, curator and writer Kimberly Drew, juvenile justice reformer Adam Foss, and urban revitalization strategist Majora Carter, among others.
Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue, 12–10 p.m. Tickets $45
Screening: “Barbara Hammer: Mischief and Play” at Metrograph
A program of short films from the seminal experimental filmmaker Barbara Hammer will be screened this week in celebration of Truant: Photographs, 1970-1979, a new 150-page book of previously unforeseen work from the artist’s personal archives. Since the late 1960s, Hammer has been investigating how one can represent lesbian sexuality and the female body, most famously in films like Dyketactics, whose opening sequence documents a group of nude women in the countryside. Recently, the artist teamed up with the organization Queer|Art to create the Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant, whose first annual award went to the Los Angeles–based artist and filmmaker Fair Brane. Hammer will be on hand to introduce the screening and sign copies of the book afterward.
Metrograph, 7 Ludlow Street, 3:45 p.m. Tickets $15
Concert: Phil Kline at Washington Square Park
For the 26th straight year, the composer Phil Kline will stage Unsilent Night, which features a boombox-wielding crowd of revelers from Washington Square Park to Tompkins Square Park. The boomboxes, both sourced from the artist’s private collection and brought by participants, will play a 45-minute multi-track electronic piece created by the composer for the occasion. Over the years, Kline’s playback technology has developed—from cassette to compact disc to digital files using bluetooth technology—but the spirit of the performance has remained unchanged. The performance is, in the words of the artist, “a combination of my love for experimental electronic music and memories of Christmas caroling as a kid in Ohio.”
Washington Square Park, 5:45 p.m.