Sweet Medicine: Sanford Biggers and His Band, Moon Medicin, Play Neuehouse

Moon Medicin

“I was into music before I was into art,” Sanford Biggers said, settling into a brown leather couch on Thursday night at Neuehouse, the coworking space that tries very hard in the Flatiron District. Mr. Biggers has been on a roll with art recently—he’s had a string of solo shows, and he has a sculpture prominently on display at the Brooklyn Museum—but he spent the evening focusing that earlier passion, deftly working a keyboard before a crowd of more than 500 with his band Moon Medicin. (Incidentally, the work at the Brooklyn Museum, 2007’s Blossom, is a grand piano that has somehow become embedded in a tree.)

Mr. Biggers played with the four other band members in the space’s warehouse-like lobby, with many people sitting on the steps of a wooden amphitheater and others clustered around the sides at moshpit-style closeness, listening as the band shifted over the course of an hour from jazz fusion to rock to electronic remixes of R&B and rap classics like Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message.” Read More


Sailing With Swoon: Inside Her ‘Submerged Motherlands’ at the Brooklyn Museum

Submerged Motherlands

Last Thursday night, in one of the Brooklyn Museum’s cavernous fifth-floor galleries, a drummer sat about 40 feet above the ground on a remarkably well-constructed hodgepodge of wooden planks, plastic baskets and sheets of corrugated metal, tapping away on the cymbals of his drum set. Below him, two female singers stood on the same construction, purring harmonious oohs and aahs. With four other musicians, they made meditative electronic music that was evocative of running water, blanketing the audience of about 300 clustered around them.

They were performing within Submerged Motherlands, an installation by Swoon, the Brooklyn artist whose given name is Caledonia Curry, and who is probably best-known for two fairly ambitious projects—the series of giant, rough-hewn portraits that she’s wheatpasted on buildings around Brooklyn and Manhattan since 1999, and for sailing into the 2009 Venice Biennale on rafts made from New York City trash, causing quite a scene. As it happens, the musicians were actually perched on those same rafts for the evening’s performance, which was titled “Submerged Collaborations” and included the screening of a fictional movie about those rafts. Read More


Fire in Chelsea! Family Business Gallery Burns Show

13 Photos

On Thursday night Ari Marcopoulos, curator of the most recent show at the Family Business gallery in Chelsea, was making a Molotov cocktail in a Snapple bottle. Outside, about 50 people were gathered around a trashcan overflowing with Xeroxed photographs, drawings, receipts, business cards, pornography and other paper ephemera that were on the gallery walls less than an hour before. You can probably guess where this is going. Read More


Death, Warmed Over: Everyone Says Goodbye to Cattelan


At 6 p.m. this past slushy Saturday, arty types packed the theater at the Guggenheim for a sold-out, seven-hour symposium, called “The Last Word,” that marked the end of the Maurizio Cattelan retrospective at that museum, and the artist’s avowed retirement.

The speakers discussed the end in all its forms. Marc Etkin, who wrote a book on suicide notes, shared a few choice selections (“P.S. I DIDN’T EAT THAT FUCKIN’ SANDWICH,” that guy shot up a mall), and Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, spoke to the freedoms granted by a fertility restriction. Salty sportswriter George Vecsey pointed out the parallels between Mr. Cattelan’s hanging sculptures and the tradition that inspired the phrase “hanging it up,” wherein retired athletes actually nail their jock straps to the wall. Read More


Sound/Vision at MoMA on Saturday

Photo courtesy of Kristy Leibowitz/elkstudios

A wave of flannel descended upon the Museum of Modern Art on Saturday for a performance by the experimental D.J. Oneohtrix Point Never, a.k.a Daniel Lopatin, whose latest album received an 8.8 from Pitchfork and all the instant (if deserved!) admiration that entails. Read More