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Mar. 8, 2011

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Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles director Jeffrey Deitch may have gotten off on the wrong foot with his massive "Street Art" exhibition when he whitewashed Blu’s mural of dollar-bill-covered coffins a few months ago, but that’s not stopping what promises to be an esthetic juggernaut. "Art in the Streets," Apr. 17-Aug. 8, 2011, premieres at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, boasting installations by 50 artists in a survey of "the development of graffiti and street art from the 1970s to the global movement it has become today."

In addition to presumably custom-made on-site works by Fab 5 Freddy, Lee Quiñones, Futura, Swoon, Shepard Fairey, Os Gemeos and JR -- note to conspiracy types, Banksy is not mentioned in the press release -- the show includes a section devoted to Fun Gallery, where Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and other New York graffiti artists first exhibited. Charlie Ahearn’s film Wild Style (1983) is included, as in Rammellzee’s Battle Station and a new version of Street Market by Todd James, Barry McGee and Steve Powers.

The show also promises a skate ramp with demonstrations by the Nike SB skate team, and a section dedicated to cholo graffiti and Dogtown skateboard culture. Los Angeles-based artists include Craig R. Stecyk III, Chaz Bojórquez, Mister Cartoon, Retna, Saber, Revok and Risk.

And what’s more, the show is coming to New York, where it appears at the Brooklyn Museum, Mar. 30-July 8, 2012. The exhibition is organized by Deitch with associate curators Roger Gastman and Aaron Rose, and the accompanying catalogue (published by Skira Rizzoli) includes essays by Carlo McCormick, Greg Tate and Diedrich Diederichsen.

They’ve tried it before and they’re trying it again -- an art fair in the belly of the beast, Washington, D.C. Former Pulse art fair director Helen Allen has teamed up with Leigh Conner and Jamie Smith of Conner Contemporary Art in D.C. to organize (e)merge, Sept. 22-25, 2011. The fair is emphasizing emerging artists -- thus the name -- and also promises an interactive, web-based world map of nonprofits, unaffiliated artists and art galleries.

The nascent fair gains credibility from its site, the Capitol Skyline Hotel, a property of supercollectors Don and Mera Rubell, and from its selection committee, which includes Mera Rubell, White Columns director Matthew Higgs and Yvonne Force Villareal, co-founder of the Art Production Fund, among other participants. Want to take part? Applications are now being accepted, and the deadline is May 2, 2011.

The inaugural edition of Dublin Contemporary, Sept. 6-Oct. 31, 2011, has been given both a title (eccentric) and a preliminary list of artists (varied) by its two collaborating curators, Jota Castro and Christian Viveros-Fauné. Taking part in “Terrible Beauty -- Art, Crisis, Change and the Office of Non-Compliance” are the Bruce High Quality Foundation, Lisa Yuskavage and Nina Berman (USA), Wang Du (China), Omer Fast (Israel), Superflex(Denmark), Goldiechiari (Italy), Dexter Dalwood and Jim Lambie (Britain), Tania Bruguera(Cuba), and James Coleman and Brian O’Doherty(Ireland). The biennial-type show is planned to take place every five years.

Ready for a bit of high culture, avant-garde style? New York City’s own saxophonist and composer John Zorn opens the spring season at the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center on Mar. 25, 2011, with the world premiere of La Machine de l’être, a one-act opera inspired by drawings by Antonin Artaud and incorporating the work of video artist Jennifer Steinkamp and a homage to laser artist Hiro Yamagata.

Two other one-acts fill out the NYC Opera bill, which is titled Monodramas and which is paired with an image by Pipilotti Rist, Homo Sapiens Sapiens (2005), a color photo of blue-eyed, freckled girl sprinkled with green grass cuttings. The show runs through Apr. 8, 2011, and tickets start at $12 (and climb to about $150).

The opera has paired images by five other artists with various productions, including Isaac Julien (Donzinetti’s The Elixir of Love), Dash Snow (Stephen Schwartz’ Séance for a Wet Afternoon), Charles Ray (Leonard Bernstein’s A Quiet Place) and Tina Barney (Richard Strauss’ Intermezzo).

The Rema Hort Mann Foundation is taking an interesting approach to the all-too-common art benefit: Prices for individual artworks drop every hour of the benefit, starting at $500, falling to $250 and then ending up at $125. The art comes from over 200 mostly emerging artists, but the works are exhibited without identification. For those who like a puzzle, the RHM Foundation website lists the artists and includes tiny images of artworks, but without correlating the two.

Admission to the event, which takes place at Marianne Boesky Gallery (at 509 West 24th Street in New York) on Mar. 24, 2011, 6:30-9:30 pm, is $20. Free drinks are promised. The RHM Foundation supports cancer treatment and also makes annual awards to individual New York City artists.

RoseLee Goldberg’s New York City-based performance art biennial returns for its fourth go-round next November. Performa 11, Nov. 1-20, 2011, promises over 100 performances at more than 80 venues in the city, with special commissions by ten artists. One theme of the biennial, the organization says, is the use of language in performance by visual artists, with Russian Constructivism and Fluxus as touchstones.

And though Performa is mum on the participating artists in the biennial, it is sponsoring the New York premiere in a week or so of a new work by legendary dance artist Yvonne Rainer, as she presents  Assisted Living: Good Sports 2 (2011) (along with Spiraling Down, 2009) at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in Manhattan, Mar. 16-19, 2011. Tickets are $25.

The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles and the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach are presenting a special three-day symposium titled Between Museum and Practice: Rethinking Latin American Art in the 21st Century, Mar. 11-13, 2011, with a follow-up session scheduled at the Museo de Arte in Lima, Peru, Nov. 2-4, 2011. Conceived by MOLAA curator Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, the symposium is free and open to the public, but registration is required; for those of us who can’t make it, the event is streamed live throughout all three days.

Participants include artist and professor Luis Camnitzer, Cuauhtémoc Medina (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Mari Carmen Ramírez (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston) and María Inés Rodríguez (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain). 

German-born punk painter Jutta Koether (b. 1958), who has been known to perform avant-garde music and write as well as make art, is having her first show in Scandinavia, and it’s a substantial survey. “The Thirst,” Mar. 5-Apr. 24, 2011, presents about 40 works made since 2004 in a range of media, and features two musical performances, one with Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth and the other with artist and filmmaker Tony Conrad. The exhibition is curated by Iris Müller-Westermann and accompanied by a co-produced with Koenig Books.

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