Notable New York, This Week 11/9 – 11/15


This week in New York Ben Marcus and Rivka Galchen at Harper’s Magazine’s The Family Table, Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach talk, Mary Gaitskill, John Turturro, and Eric Bogosian at PEN benefit, Frederick Wiseman’s documentary La Danse, Jeff Lewis and the Wowz! at Cakeshop, The Internet as Playground and Factory conference with n+1 magazine, Performa 09 continues, and the First Annual Independent Bookstore Week kicks off.

MONDAY 11/9: PEN: Breakout Voices from Inside. PEN Members and friends will read the award-winning work from PEN’s Prison Writing Program. Breakout: Voices from Inside, the Program’s second annual benefit reading and reception, will feature readings by Mary Gaitskill, Eric Bogosian, John Turturro, Patricia Smith, and others. WNYC Greene Space, 44 Charlton Street, NYC. Purchase tickets here. 7pm.

LIVE from the NYPL presents an evening with director Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums) in conversation with screenplay co-writer Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale) about Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wes Anderson’s first animated film based on a story by Roald Dahl.

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya reads at McNally Jackson. The Russian author who has been shortlisted for the Russian Booker Prize, will read from her new collection. Reading followed by discussion with author, award winning translator, and editor of n+1 Keith Gessen.

Music: Schwervon! at Cakeshop (w/ jeff lewis, jason anderson, & the wowz!). (Courtesy of Moffie Sez). Cakeshop. 152 Ludlow.

Peter Bjorn and John at Webster Hall. 8:00pm.

TUESDAY 11/10: Joan Jonas: Reading Dante. Part of Performa 09’s Commission Series, this large-scale performance by video and performance pioneer Joan Jonas, is based on elements from Dante’s epic fourteenth-century poem “The Divine Comedy,” collaging footage shot in four locations—the Canadian woods, 1970s New York, a ruin surrounding a lava field in Mexico City, and a shadow play in Italy—together to translate Dante into Jonas’s own remarkable “infernal paradise.” Through Saturday. The Performing Garage. 33 Wooster St. $20. Times vary.

La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet. Frederick Wiseman is one of the best documentary filmmakers out there period, if not the best. While there’s no such thing as unmediated filmmaking, Frederick Wiseman tries incredibly hard to give you an experience that is built only of “un-staged, un-manipulated actions.” No voiceover, no contextualization–other than that with which you come to the theater, and no long rambling though sometimes humorous philosophical asides in Austrian-tinged English that endear me to other notable documentarians. This one is about, well, the Paris Opera Ballet. Film Forum. Through November 17.

WEDNESDAY 11/11: Harper’s Magazine Presents: The Family Table with Rivka Galchen, Ben Marcus and David Samuels. To coincide with Thanksgiving, Harper’s Magazine presents a reading with its contributors on the theme of “the Family Table”—eating, fighting, anguish, and the American form of gratitude featuring selections from the magazine and new work. Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. 126 Crosby St. 7pm.

PopRally presents Picture Yourself. PopRally presents an exclusive after-hours viewing of the exhibition New Photography 2009: Walead Beshty, Daniel Gordon, Leslie Hewitt, Carter Mull, Sterling Ruby, Sara VanDerBeek. Using digital photo-booth technology, guests can also construct their own take-away photographs using backgrounds newly designed by Gordon, Hewitt, and VanDerBeek. Music is provided by Andrew Kuo. Creative dress is encouraged. Museum of Modern Art. 53 W. 53rd St. $10 in advance. $12 at door. 7:30-10:30.

First Annual Independent Bookstore Week: Kick off party at the Powerhouse Arena. 7:00pm – 10:00pm.

THURSDAY 11/12: The Internet as Playground and Factory: Co-sponsored by Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts, this conference “confronts the urgent need to interrogate what constitutes labor and value in the digital economy and it seeks to inspire proposals for action.” The Internet as Playground and Factory “poses a series of questions about the conundrums surrounding labor (and often the labor of love) in relation to our digital present.” Internet as Playground is presented in cooperation with Yale Information Society Project, the New School for Social Research and n+1 Magazine. Free but Advanced registration is required. Runs Thursday through Saturday.

FRIDAY 11/13: Live From Home Concert with David Berkeley, Zee Avi, and Christina Courtin. Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. $15. Wine, beer and snacks. 7:00pm.

Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages. Film – 1922. Sweden. Written and directed by Benjamin Christensen. With Christensen, Maren Pedersen, Clara Pontoppidan. “Häxan is arguably the most original and impressive of all Swedish silent films, and today is still a technically and cinematographically astonishing achievement. An eccentric mixture of didactic lecture and spectacular dramatization, Häxan recounts popular beliefs in the devil and superstition throughout the ages—with director Christensen himself playing Lucifer. MOMA. 53 W. 53rd St. 4:30pm.

The Internet as Playground and Factory: See Thursday for details.

SATURDAY 11/14: The PROMPT (a night club). A conceptual social club under the influence of Futurist Variety Theater, cues and propositions are offered each night in the form of conversation pieces, rules, performances and soundtracks, transforming this destination into a pressure cooker for ideas and intimacies. White Slab Palace. 77 Delancey St. 8:00pm.

The Internet as Playground and Factory: See Thursday for details.

SUNDAY 11/15: The Last Freebird Party of the Year. In conjunction with the New York Independent Book Week, Freebird and WORD Bookstore in Greenpoint to encourage their patrons to B-61 it (along the route of the future Greenway) between neighborhoods for a sampling of Brooklyn authors and food. 123 Columbia St. Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

ART: Urs Fischer: Marguerite de Ponty at the New Museum. “For his first large-scale solo presentation in an American museum, Urs Fischer has taken over all three of the New Museum’s gallery floors to create a series of immersive installations and hallucinatory environments. The exhibition “Urs Fischer: Marguerite de Ponty” is the culmination of four years of work. Neither a traditional survey nor a retrospective, the exhibition features new productions and iconic works combined to compose a series of gigantic still lifes and walk-in tableaux. Choreographed entirely by the artist, the exhibition is a descent into Fischer’s universe, revealing the world of an artist who has emerged as one of the most exceptional talents working today.” New Museum. 235 Bowery.


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Rozalia Jovanovic is a founding editor of Gigantic, a magazine of short prose and art. She is the Deputy Editor of Flavorpill and has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and Columbia University. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming from Unsaid, The Believer, Everyday Genius, Guernica, elimae, and She blogs at The Astonishing Egg and is The Rumpus New York Editor. More from this author →