Notable New York, This Week 4/12 – 4/18


This week in New York The Future of Criticism with Lorin Stein and Maud Newton, John D’Agata and Thalia Field discuss the lyric essay, Alice Walker on activism, Salman Rushdie and Lee Bollinger discuss free speech in a globalized world, Mikael Kennedy shows his Polaroids at the Chelsea Hotel and Congress for Curious People symposium is held at Coney Island.

MONDAY 4/12: The Congress for Curious People, an amazing collection of “human marvels” runs for ten days at Coney Island with lectures, esoteric performances and film. Tonight Evan Michelson provides an illustrated meditation on the Saddest Object in the World: an exercise in Proustian involuntary memory, aesthetic critique, and philosophical bargaining. 7:00pm. The Sideshow presents Chris McDaniel, the undisputed master of whip-wielding. 8:00pm. 1208 Surf Avenue.

Hamilton. This film chronicles two summer days in the life of a young family: Lena, 17, and Joe, 20, two recent and accidental parents residing in a diverse suburban neighborhood in northeast Baltimore. Q&A with director Matthew Porterfield and New Yorker film writer Richard Brody to follow 6:50 show.

Mary Gaitskill reads from Don’t Cry. Franklin Park. Prospect Heights.

Rosario Dawson directs a benefit reading of selections of Eve Ensler’s newest book I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World. The reading will be produced by Obie Award winner Lori E. Seid and will feature 20 teenage girls who are members of the Lower Eastside Girls Club of New York. PS 122. 1st Ave. at 9th St. 6:30pm.

TUESDAY 4/13: Dash Shaw discusses his graphic novel, Body World, with author and book-cover designer Chip Kidd. The Strand. 828 Broadway. 7:00pm.

Alice Walker on Activism. Pulitzer Prize winning novelist (The Color Purple) and poet Alice Walker is also an activist. She will discuss her new book Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo and Palestine/Israel, the trip that inspired it, the people who survived devastation and persecution, and the necessary response of human beings to violence. 92Y. 92nd Street at Lexington Ave. 8:00pm.

A Rogue’s Approach to Stuffing It: Taxidermy in Contemporary Pop, Art and Sub-Culture.

WEDNESDAY 4/14: Salman Rushdie, Michael Schudson, David Ignatius and Lee Bollinger. “Free Speech in a Globalized World.” Columbia University. Low Rotunda. 116th & Broadway. 6:15pm.

Deborah Eisenberg reads from Collected Stories, a compendium of her stories of the last twenty-five years. 192 Books. 7:00pm.

“Shoot the Moon” an exhibit of the Polaroid photographs of Mikael Kennedy opens at the Chelsea Hotel. There will be a reception for the artist from 6:00pm – 8:00pm. Chelsea Hotel Room 524.

THURSDAY 4/15: Joshua Cohen reads from his comic novel Witz. Book Court. 163 Court Street. Cobble Hill. 7:00pm.

Second Hand Culture: Waste, value and Materiality. This symposium explores the ways in which objects ranging from clothing to collectibles to trash have been constructed and experienced. Scholars of Theater, History, Geography, and Art and Design History discuss this vital new area at the intersection of consumerism, material culture studies, cultural geography, and artmaking. Bard Graduate Center. rsvp: [email protected]. 38 w. 86th St. 5:00pm – 8:00pm.

Liars, the art-punk group called the “slightly garage-ier Hot Chip” perform at Bowery Ballroom. 6 Delancey Street. 8:00pm.

FRIDAY 4/16: Texts to Argue Through. John D’Agata, Thalia Field and Jena Osman discuss the evolution of research-based projects into book-length lyric essays. Poets House. 10 River Terrace (@Murphy). 7:00pm.

Second Hand Culture: Waste, value and Materiality. See above for details. Bard Graduate Center. rsvp: [email protected]. 38 W. 86th St. 9:00am – 4:00pm.

Painter and photographer Shelton Walsmith (whose work graces the latest cover of Unsaid Magazine) shows his work at Causey Contemporary Gallery in Brooklyn. Opening reception 6-9PM. 92 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn.

SATURDAY 4/17: The Future of Criticism: A Conference in Honor of Roger Shattuck. This one day conference explores the future of criticism in the age of the Internet. Prominent critics, writers, and editors will talk, debate and discuss the future of serious writing about literature. Conversations and panels will feature Daniel Mendelsohn, Liesl Schillinger, Morris Dickstein, Jed Perl, Maud Newton and Lorin Stein. Robert Weil will begin the day with a tribute to his friend, legendary critic, author and Proust scholar Roger Shattuck. rsvp required: [email protected]. 1:00pm – 5:00pm. Center for Fiction. 17 E. 47th St.

Congress for Curious People two-day symposium. This symposium explores education and spectacle, collectors of curiosities, historical fairground displays and more, in conjunction with The Coney Island Museum. The symposium will feature panels of humanities scholars discussing with the audience the intricacies of collecting, the history of ethnographic display, the interface of spectacle and education, and the politics of bodily display in the amusement parks, museums, and fairs of the Western world. Also on view in the museum will be “The Collector’s Cabinet,” an installation of astounding artifacts held in private collections. In conjunction with the events at the Coney Island Museum, Observatory’s Gallery space will host “The Secret Museum,” an exhibition exploring the poetics of hidden, untouched and curious collections from around the world.

At the sideshow is Super Freak Weekend. Mat Sealboy Fraser, Jennifer Bearded Lady Miller, Koko the Killer Clown, and Ravi the Indian Rubber Boy. 1:00pm – 8:00pm continuously. 1208 Surf Avenue.

SUNDAY 4/18: Congress for Curious People continues. See above.

ART: Joachim Koester. Joachim Koester’s just-opened solo show at Greene Naftali Gallery includes new film installations, photographs, and a multi-media projection work. Koester continues his ventures into the nature of human exploration, but where previous projects have retraced the journeys of geographic explorers and the psychogeography of historical sites, his current works probe deeper into the complex legacy of counter-culture and the varying states of mental and psychedelic experimentation of the twentieth century.


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Original Notable New York Illustration © André da Loba

Other images in order of appearance: illustration by Dash Shaw; photograph by Mikael Kennedy; vintage photograph of Coney Island; film still from film by Joachim Koester.

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 →