The Lands at the End of the World
Located in the landmark West Chelsea Arts Building, the recently opened Walther Collection Project Space is the New York satellite of the Walther Family Foundation. At its main venue in Germany, the Walther Collection opens a major exhibition this weekend of landscape photography from Africa, including the work of South African photographer Jo Ractliffe. Here in Chelsea, the Walther Collection presents “As Terras Do Fim Do Mundo” – The Lands at the End of the World. As her first U.S. solo exhibition, it is both a more intimate and more extensive look at her recent work. On view are nearly 60 of Ractliffe’s evocative black-and-white photos. They depict the desolate landscapes that were once the battlefields of the Angolan Civil War and the South African Border War.
Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now
Head uptown to the Museum of Modern Art to see more of Ractliffe’s work in “Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now.” The exhibition examines the impact and range of printmaking in South Africa during and after the political upheaval of the anti-apartheid movement. It includes Ractliffe’s altered and layered photographs from the late 1980s which symbolically capture the political violence of that time. In the 1980s, activists were attracted to printmaking. Today it remains a way to rapidly and widely disseminate direct political statements. But other artists such as Norman Catherine and William Kentridge have also embraced printmaking techniques for more refined, detailed and evocative effects. “Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now” remains on view at MoMA until August 14th.
Pascal Rioult at the Joyce
In dance, Rioult returns to the Joyce Theater for two world premieres, one an eagerly awaited culmination, the other a new beginning. Choreographer and artistic director Pascal Rioult will add the final work in his series of powerful dances set to Bach masterpieces. Three years in the making, the “Bare Bach” project already includes a fragmented human drama presented against gently changing images of the city, and a piece inspired by Japanese master artist Hiroshige’s wood cut prints of nature and the elements. A second program combines repertory pieces, including “Black Diamond,” a duet for women set to the music of Stravinsky, and the unrelenting crescendo of energy that is Ravel’s “Bolero,” with another new work. The company will premiere “On Distant Shores,” set to an original score by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis. Rioult’s engagement at the Joyce runs from June 14th to the 19th.
Bang on a Can Marathon
The city will soon be buzzing with free outdoor concerts. One sure sign that summer is here is the Bang on a Can Marathon. The annual event lasts from 11 am until midnight, as musical icons and innovators from all genres of music come together Downtown in one of the city’s biggest concerts. The marathon features a diverse selection of new classical, rock, jazz and experimental sounds. This year, highlights include works by the Ferocious Jack Quartet and Bang on a Can All-Stars performing live with Philip Glass. The Asphalt Orchestra will encore last year’s performance of music by Stew and Heidi Rodewald. Catch the Bang on a Can Marathon in the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center next Sunday.
John Storrs’ Skyscrapers
NYU’s Grey Art Gallery lies within one of the city’s most interesting and varied landscapes. It is the perfect location from which to view the elegant abstractions of skyscrapers currently on view here. “John Storrs: Machine-Age Modernist” is the first major museum exhibition of work by this important American sculptor in 25 years. The exhibit features 29 sculptures, ranging in size from intimate to impressive, illustrating the artist’s enduring fascination with the iconic skyscraper. Storrs created these sculptures between 1917 and the early 1930s. During this time, advances in construction and technology enabled the earliest steel-framed buildings to reach heights never before possible. This exhibition remains on view at the Grey Art Gallery until July 9th.
Bloomsday on Broadway
And finally, Symphony Space celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of Bloomsday on Broadway, it’s annual marathon reading of James Joyces’s Ulysses. Hosted and staged by Isiah Sheffer, this year’s 13-hour marathon reading will include over 80 Broadway stars and avid Joyceans, and sample all 18 episodes of the book. The marathon begins at noon on Bloomsday, Thursday, June 16th and lasts until Molly Bloom’s final “yes” sometime after midnight.