Weekly Happenings: July 6–July 13, 2021

Each week, we create a list of exhibitions, screenings, events, and news featuring Creative Capital Awardees of all disciplines. This list can include shows that have recently opened, shows about to close, and noteworthy headlines and interviews that profile artists and their work.

This week, we recommend tuning into Twin Cities PBS to watch a performance of Sharon Bridgforth’s dat Black Mermaid Man Lady, checking out Lynn Hershman Leeson’s recently opened solo exhibition at the New Museum in New York City, and picking up a copy of Dana Spiotta’s new novel Wayward.

Events, Exhibitions, & Screenings

Alan Ruiz
Container and Contained

The Kitchen in New York City
In-person exhibition
June 17–July 24, 2021

Alan Ruiz’s practice considers the way the built environment engenders social hierarchies through an array of media, standards, and techniques. This exhibition includes three works that explore the redistribution of value and authority through multiple systems.

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Best! Letters from Asian Americans in the arts
New book published by Paper Monument
Out now

This collection of seventy-three letters written in 2020 captures an unprecedented moment in politics and society through the experiences of Asian-American artists, curators, educators, art historians, editors, writers, and designers. Contributors include Creative Capital Awardees Jen Liu, Mel Chin, Naeem Mohaiemen, and Patty Chang.

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Cauleen Smith
Stars in My Pocket and the Rent Is Due

Charles White Elementary School in Los Angeles
In-person exhibition
On view starting July 10

From the end of 2020 into 2021, Cauleen Smith conducted virtual visits with Charles White Elementary School classes, inviting students to make videos and dioramas depicting a world they wanted to live in. Inspired by their resilience and imagination during a pandemic, Smith incorporated elements from their videos into a new installation and created embellished banners that reference astronomy, migration, and movement.

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Dana Spiotta

Knopf Publishing Group
New book and virtual book tour

Dana Spiotta‘s new novel Wayward is out now! The book is about aging, about the female body, and about female difficulty—female complexity—in the age of Trump. Spiotta will participate in virtual book talks with other writers, including George Saunders, Chanelle Benz, Rachel Kushner, this summer.

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Southhampton Arts Center
In-person exhibition
Through July 10

Alejandro Durán is part of this exhibition which features artists who use their talents to focus on conservation and activism. The show includes photographs and installations from his Creative Capital Project and ongoing series, Washed Up: Transforming a Trashed Landscape.

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Lorraine O’Grady

Brooklyn Museum in New York City
In-person exhibition
Through July 18, 2021

Both/And is the first retrospective of one of the most significant contemporary figures working in performance, conceptual, and feminist art. The exhibition features twelve of the major projects Lorraine O’Grady has produced over her four-decade career and also debuts a much-anticipated new installation.

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Lynn Hershman Leeson

New Museum in New York City
In-person exhibition
June 30–Oct 3, 2021

This exhibition brings together a selection of Lynn Hershman Leeson’s work in drawing, sculpture, video, and photography, along with interactive and net-based works, focusing on themes of transmutation, identity construction, and the evolution of the cyborg.

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Mallory Catlett
Archive: this was the end

Mabou Mines in New York City
In-person exhibition
Through July 18, 2021

Archive: this was the end is the afterlife of a performance as an interactive sculpture created by Creative Capital Awardee Mallory Catlett and Keith Skretch, in collaboration with sound artist G Lucas Crane. The installation allows the audience to reactivate the set made of a cabinet wall, walking into and around it following the moving portraits.

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Raja Feather Kelly

Through July 31, 2021

Filmed at Playwrights Horizons during the pandemic, and inspired by the 1963 dystopian novel Kill One, The KILL ONE Race is a reality competition game-play created by Raja Feather Kelly. Over the course of seven days, seven contestants compete in a social and ethical obstacle course to be proven the most ethical—and earn the singular prize of death.

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Robin Frohardt
The Plastic Bag Store

UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance in Los Angeles
In-Person Installation and Film
June 30–July 11, 2021

Robin Frohardt‘s Creative Capital Project, The Plastic Bag Store, opens in Los Angeles this week! The project is a public art installation and immersive film experience designed to take place in a retail storefront. Employing humor, puppetry and craft, Frohardt focuses a critical lens upon our culture of consumption and convenience — specifically, the enduring effects of our single-use plastics.

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Sharon Bridgforth
dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/The Show
Twin Cities PBS
TV Broadcast and Digital Screening
Streaming starting July 10

Twin Cities PBS will broadcast Sharon Bridgforth’s Creative Capital Project, dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/The Show, filmed at Pillsbury House Theatre in 2018. Centered in African-American artistic and cultural traditions, the constantly evolving project supports the creation of spaces that activate communal wisdom and self-determination.

Watch Now

Taylor Mac
Whitman in the Woods
University of Michigan
Digital presentations and lecture
Through July 6, 2021

The University of Michigan hosts a free lineup of digital presentations and lectures for Pride Month. Included in the program is Creative Capital Awardee Taylor Mac’s Whitman in the Woods—a series of short films where performs favorite poems by 19th-century American poet and queer icon, Walt Whitman, dressed in glamorous drag costumes and makeup.

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In the News

“Dao Strom and Brian Harnetty: In Conversation”
Aquarium Drunkard
June 22, 2021

In this conversation, awardees Brian Harnetty and Dao Strom talk about how the intersections of sound, language, music, memory, history, place, and practices of “listening”—to the past, to the present—fuel their respective interdisciplinary practices. Although working in quite different contexts, both artists root their art in a strong contemplation of place and one’s relationship to “place.”

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“Dana Spiotta Loves Coming Across Jokes in Really Old Books”
New York Times
July 1, 2021

The New York Times talks to Dana Spiotta about books, her ideal reading experience, and what moves her in literature: “One of my favorite things is laughing at a joke in a really old book: I feel such connection to the human who made it, which delights and moves me. If you can write a joke that is still funny in 100 years, you are great.”

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“A Bright New Grocery Store, Made Entirely of Recycled Plastic”
July 4, 2021

Hyperallergic covers Robin Frohardt’s Creative Capital Project, The Plastic Bag Store, on view in Los Angeles this week. “The Plastic Bag Store has enough artificial produce to rival your neighborhood Ralph’s, and depressingly illuminates the sheer scale of plastic waste humans consume.”

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“Artists reimagine monuments through augmented reality”
PBS Newshour
July 5, 2021

LACMA and Snapchat hosts a new exhibition in Los Angeles that reimagines monuments through augmented reality. The project includes work by Creative Capital Awardee Mercedes Dorame, whose monument pays tribute to her ancestry, the Gabrielino-Tongva Indians of California. “When I think about monuments, I think about how they’re often a singular moment or a singular person. And it’s kind of often, for indigenous people, these histories that are really kind of traumatic for us,” she says.

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“A Wife and Mother Finds a New House and Decides to Move in Alone”
New York Times
July 6, 2021

The New York Times reviews Dana Spiotta’s new novel, Wayward: “While Spiotta’s previous novels run on Didion-like cold fusion, Wayward reads like a burning fever dream, powered by hot fury rather than icy remove. There is a mythic quality to her narration, as well as a dark strain of humor.”

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“Lynn Hershman Leeson: The Artist Is Prescient”
New York Times
July 8, 2021

The New York Times covers Lynn Hershman Leeson’s exhibition, “Twisted,” at the New Museum. “It’s a strong, smart survey that gives her overdue credit,” writes Jillian Steinhauer. “The show strikes me as akin to a greatest hits album: an excellent introduction for newcomers and a dose of reliable inspiration for those familiar with her work, but not deep enough once you’re tuned into her brilliance.”

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