A.i.A. editors suggest a few of the myriad events taking place in New York this week: Richard Maxwell's new play at the Kitchen; a lecture with photographer Carrie Mae Weems at NYU Steinhardt; BAMcinématek's "New Voices in Black Cinema" series; a night of performances investigating our relationships to our devices at the Judson Memorial Church; and a documentary about Walter Benjamin followed by a discussion with the film's director Judith Wechsler at The Graduate Center.
Wednesday Mar. 25, 8 p.m.
A Dante-inspired play co-presented by The Kitchen and Performance Space 122, Richard Maxwell's The Evening stars Jim Fletcher, who has worked with the experimental playwright for 15 years. In this play, Fletcher plays the corrupt manager of a fighter (Brian Mendes) who talks about his broken dreams one night with a bartender (Cammisa Buerhaus). Wednesday's performance will be followed by a talk with Maxwell introduced by the Kitchen's executive director Tim Griffin and moderated by Whitney Museum curator Jay Sanders. The Evening's 16-night run continues through Mar. 28.
The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street
Thursday Mar. 26, 6:30 p.m.
As the last installment in their Portrait of the Artist series, Performa presents "Field of View and Other Minor Considerations," a lecture by Carrie Mae Weems. The photographer will discuss her work's interrogation of family relationships, cultural identity, sexism and systems of power. This playful and poignant reflection on the artist's career will include Daphne Brooks's critical commentary and Tavia Nyong'o's music and text. Admission is free but an RSVP is recommended.
NYU Steinhardt, Einstein Auditorium, Barney Building, 34 Stuyvesant Street
Friday Mar. 27, 4:30 p.m.
An ambitious documentary that tackles the question of what it means to be black in America today, Dreams are Colder Than Death is directed by Arthur Jafa, the cinematographer of Spike Lee's Crooklyn, and features ruminations from artist Kara Walker, filmmaker Charles Burnett, musician Flying Lotus and others. The film is a part of BAMcinématek's series "New Voices in Black Cinema" that runs from Mar. 26 to 29. The New York premiere of C.J. ‘Fiery' Obasi's Ojuju, a zombie film set in Nigeria, will also screen Friday at 9:45 p.m.
BAM Rose Cinemas, Peter Jay Sharp Building, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn
Sunday, Mar. 29, 4 p.m.
The New York Performance Artists Collective presents "User Agent," a program of four works curated by Rachel Valinsky that explore our relationship to technology. Tyler Coburn's experimental essay Naturally Speaking will be performed live for the first time by Susan Bennett, the original voice of Apple's Siri. The other performances-Drone Pilot v0.2 by Ian Hatcher, Young Blood by Lanny Jordan Jackson, and Systems Say What Words Cannot by Research Service (Avi Alpert, Mashinka Firunts and Danny Snelson)-all interpret the lecture or monologue format to explore technology's languages and codes, the software's role as performer, and the blurred boundaries of user and agent in our new modes of communicating.
Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South
Monday Mar. 30, 6 p.m.
Art historian Judith Wechsler has directed a film exploring cultural critic Walter Benjamin's life and work, including interviews with leading Benjamin scholars and archival footage of Paris and Berlin from the 1920s and ‘30s. Wechsler, along with CUNY Graduate Center professor Susan Buck-Morss, will present a lecture and discussion following the screening.
The Graduate Center, Skylight Room, 365 Fifth Avenue, 9th floor