Mickalene Thomas: La leçon d’amour, 2008. Courtesy Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong; and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. © Mickalene Thomas.

A.i.A. editors suggest a few of the myriad events in New York this week: a book signing with Mickalene Thomas at Dashwood Books; a talk on curating work by queer black artists at Lubin House; a lecture-performance by Casey Jane Ellison at Swiss Institute; a talk on Middle Eastern performance at the Goethe-Institut; and a screening of Marguerite Duras’s Destroy She Said at BAM.


Tuesday, March 22, 6:00 p.m.

Book Signing: Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs

Mickalene Thomas visits this niche NoHo bookstore, devoted entirely to photography imprints, to sign copies of her recent monograph Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs, published by Aperture in 2015. Known for her large-scale, rhinestone encrusted paintings, mostly of black women, Thomas’s photographs possess similar sensory qualities. Intimate depictions of the artist’s mother, friends, and lovers, all dressed in vibrantly layered textiles, reference 1970s black-is-beautiful campaigns, art historical odalisques, and mise-en-scène studio portraiture. “Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs and tête-à-tête” is on view at Aperture Gallery through March 17.

Dashwood Books, 33 Bond Street


Wednesday, March 23, 6:30 p.m.

Talk: Curating Queer Black Legacies

LGBT historian Ajamu, currently artist in residence at Visual AIDS, and the nonprofit organization’s curator Sur Rodney (Sur), respond to recent protests over the lack of artists of color included in the exhibition “Art AIDS America” at the Tacoma Art Museum. Following the discussion, which takes place at Syracuse University’s Lubin House on the Upper East Side, currently showing a retrospective of the Nigerian-born queer photographer Rotimi Fani-Kayode, there will be a screening of “The Home Coming: A Short Film,” a documentary on Ajamu’s photographs narrated by historian Kobena Mercer.

Lubin House, 11 East 61st Street


Wednesday, March 23, 7:00 p.m.

Lecture and Performance: Casey Jane Ellison, “The Fake Art of Sex and the City

In light of Women’s History Month, artist and comedian Casey Jane Ellison considers an unlikely female role model in the art world: Charlotte, a fictional Chelsea art dealer, from Sex and the City. In her lecture-performance, Ellison reevaluates mass media representations of art-world women, particularly how “fake art” on TV informs our collective understanding of the capital-A Art industry. The event is part of the ongoing group show “FADE IN: INT. ART GALLERY—DAY,” which explores depictions of art history in film and on television.

Swiss Institute, 18 Wooster Street


Thursday, March 24, 7:00 p.m.

Talk: Choreography and Aesthetic Violence

Deborah Kapchan, associate professor of performance studies at New York University, speaks with Egyptian choreographer and performer Adham Hafez, artistic director of the Cairo-based research project “HaRaka,” discussing his work, aesthetic violence, and performing outside of the hegemonic Western artistic canon. Hafez will also present 2065 BC, his new work that reenacts the 1884 Berlin Conference, which set in motion the Scramble for Africa. The talk is presented as part of New York Live Arts’ festival Live Ideas: MENA/Future—Cultural Transformations in the Middle East North Africa Region.

Goethe-Institut, 30 Irving Place


Saturday, March 26, 4:30 p.m.

Screening: Destroy She Said

French author Marguerite Duras, best known for her Oscar-winning screenplay for Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) and cult classic autobiographical novel The Lover (1984), takes on the role of experimental filmmaker with Destroy She Said (1969). Duras directed the film, which was adapted from her 1969 novel of the same title. The unlikely meeting of four men and woman in a forest lapses into a tale of erotic madness in a world Duras imagined “after Freud.” 


Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn