New Projects Are Lunatic!
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Our favorite new projects this week are small in stature (some are raising just a few hundred bucks!), but they are big, big, big in spirit. They're thumbing their noses at conventional gender roles! They're out with the old and in with the new (pillows, that is)! They're *urp* hanging out in bars in the Lower East Side of New York City and creating one-of-a-kind live action sketches! They're doing whatever they feel like really, and we're loving it. Read more about them, below, but be warned! This is a feisty bunch.
Artist-brother duo Felix and Dexter Ciprián work in photography, dance, film, graphic design, costume design, architecture...etc! Their latest collaboration, set to be exhibited in a stunning 19th-century synagogue-turned-gallery in New York's Lower East Side, combines Dexter's photography and Felix's collages. Dexter shoots urban landscapes, zooming in on details until they become abstracted from their natural association. Felix rummages through garbage cans looking for vintage photographs, from which he snips out the people to place in new, mythological settings. Coupled with the majestic detailing of their selected venue and maybe some 1940s jazz (per their video), their November 21st show should invoke a lovely atmosphere. —Daniella J.
Afrobeat, Highlife, Juju, Apala, and Fuji…If those ring a bell, then we are on the same page. If not, welcome to Lagos, Nigeria in the 1960s. It's hot, and I'm not just talking about the climate. Musically, the city is on fire, with western instrumentation being used to create endless polyrhythms of joy and wonder. I got heavily into Highlife and Juju a few years back, thanks in large part to Soundway's Nigeria Special compilations and DJ Frank, of Voodoo Funk fame (who ran a similar project investigating the history of West African music earlier this year). Elder's Corner's expands on these documents, providing inside information from a Nigerian man who grew up listening to these records at his parents parties, only to re-discover them after a friend (and record collector) brought them back into his life. If there is one thing I know, you can never have too much music from Lagos in your life. — Mike M.
Small projects are absolutely vital to the creative spirit and success of Kickstarter. So is great hair. And thusly we present to you Woman School: a Modern Farce. Adapted from Moliere's The School for Wives, Eric Powell Holm's Woman School follows one man's quest to keep his fiancée as "safe and stupid" as possible. Chicago's Vintage Theater Collective will bring Holm's adaptation to life through production designer Kaity Licina's wigs. We're told they'll be "awesome, awesome wigs." But — as you may know — two awesomes requires a wee bit o' cashflow. They only need $250! Won't you hook these pretty little women up with some 'dos? —Elisabeth H.
Jess Hirsch is a visual artist who is getting her MFA in Minneapolis and orchestrating a public art project on the next full moon that is kind of gross, but I support it nonetheless. Here's the deal: she's going to create a huge grid of brand new, white pillows (with a little sachet of mugwort, said to encourage dreaming, tucked in the pillowcase), and over the course of the night, people can come and exchange their own dirty, sweaty, graying, hair-laden pillows for a new one, replacing the white grid with a more (disgusting) human one. Alright, Jess, we're officially intrigued. — Meaghan O.
I dig Crazy Glenn. His aptly titled book, Having a Hell of a Time, Wish You Were Here; A Drunkards Guide to the Bars of the Lower Eastside, is a sweetly humorous anecdotal guide to the best bars and boozey hideouts of the Lower East Side, and his accompanying black and white sketches (made on site!) are masterful in their evocation of each places atmosphere and woozy crowds. I'd love to see Crazy Glenn in the back corner of a LES bar someday, scribbling away madly and knocking back a pint. Perhaps if his project to publish a sequel to Wish You Were Here succeeds, I will! — Cassie M.
Casita: Press Play is a video art laboratory operating out of the South Bronx. Their objective? To collaborate with a group of 14 and 15 year old kids to create a series of productive "theater games," with the result being original performance and video art that will be displayed at Casita Maria in the Bronx and Residency Unlimited in Brooklyn. The ways in which I find this initiative spectacular and cool are numerous — it's educational, it's interactive, it's super, super creative, etc. It just feels important for things like this to be happening in the world. I support! — Cassie M.