A Capital anticipations list: Drinks with Arianna, Cloud City, James Franco art, Figment Art Festival, Tiki Disco
Each week, Capital's editors and writers will offer a list of the events, activities, releases and personal obsessions that we are looking forward to during the next week. Here is a list of our anticipations.
A Yayoi Kusama retrospective, a James Franco collaboration, Figment Art Festival, and more
Gabe: Who says the onset of summer means slim cultural pickings? This weekend there will be plenty of great stuff to see and do. For one thing, at the Whitney, a tantalizing preview of the upcoming Yayoi Kusama retrospective (opening next month) with her immersive room-size piece Fireflies on the Water. It looks a lot like what it sounds like. You enter a large box lined inside with mirrors and, in the low light, hundreds of tiny lights dance, suspended from the ceiling over water (you stand on a kind of slim runway in the middle). Kusama began making these sorts of installations in the mid-'60s, her first being Infinity Mirror Room Phalli’s Field (or Floor Show), which featured a mass of polka-dotted phallic protrusions in a mirrored space. Back in 2009 Gagosian showed a room similar to Fireflies, Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity. The guard on duty allowed each person around 30 seconds inside. Each time I came out, I got right back in line.
Say what you will about the validity of James Franco's forays into the art world (via soap opera or actual exhibitions), but this weekend he's teaming up again with one of today's most intriguing working artists: Laurel Nakadate. The two worked together at last year's Performa in a piece devoted to Tennessee Williams, holding a séance to reach Williams and ask the author's spirit for advice. From the sounds of their appearance to the New Museum this weekend they're up to a similar thing, this time with a psychic on hand and the subject being quite possibly late actor Brad Renfro, who has been a recurring subject in Franco's work. No official word on the specifics, but the New Museum has said it's going to be open to the public.
For a perhaps less hype-driven communion with the dearly departed, the Morgan Library's Dan Flavin: Drawing exhibition is entering the final weeks of its run, and it's a lovely show through which to understand an artist whose work is far too often exhibited without any form of explanation or examination, no ways in and no ways to move through contemplation. His light sculptures are so illustrious and iconic that it seems most curators don't think anyone might be curious about his life, thoughts, or preparatory works. This show offers just that sort of information, along with more than one hundred drawings including abstract watercolors, studies for his light pieces, and a number of pastels of sailboats.
Finally, Governor's Island will be overtaken this weekend by a whole host of whimsical, wacky, precious, earnest, and freakish activities and exhibitions for the Figment Art Festival. Sure, it may be a bit Burning Man-ish here and there, but you could plan a worse (or certainly a more boring) weekend than one spent strolling the island and encountering bands, huge games of tag, body painters, and the like.
Drinks with Arianna and "Cannonballs"
Joe: It's that time of year again when New York media reporters get to swill fancy cocktails at rooftop parties thrown by the news organizations they cover. Next Wednesday's a double-header, with a Huffington Post event in Gramercy to celebrate the upcoming launch of the site's new iPad magazine, and a Wall Street Journal soiree down in Tribeca to celebrate the launch of, well, summer. The latter event, thrown by the paper's Off Duty section and billed as a pool party, promises "Drinks. Canopes. Cannonballs." The former promises Arianna Huffington. Which to attend? Both, I hope.
Tomas Saraceno's Cloud City
Tiki Disco at the Rockaways
Gillian: Every Sunday, starting at 2 p.m., after a family-style "Cheeses Christ" pizza-and-beer brunch at Roberta's, the popular Bushwick pizza joint, North Brooklyn locals—skaters, stoners, models, photographers, the generally childless and attractive cool-kid types—line up to get into Tiki Disco. It's a backyard party at Roberta's, where they can drink beer on wooden benches, sip cocktails with their feet in a kiddie pool, and dance on woodchips under a tarp to fantastic music, thanks to resident DJs Eli Escobar, Andy Pry, and Lloydski. This Sunday, the Tiki Disco crew is transferring the party to the beach. A friend is having a birthday celebration at the Rockaways and I can't imagine a better way to spend the last day of the weekend, as long as the weather holds up.