Taking over two years to develop and perfect, PACKRAT is a new multi-media puppetry play that contemplates humanity’s relationship with the natural world. Inspired by the classic survival and adventure novel, “Watership Down,” PACKRAT follows one peculiar rodent on his vivacious journey to discover the interconnectedness of life.
2 Tours Nightly: Thursday – Saturday at 7:00pm and 8:30pm; Sunday at 5:00pm and 6:30pm
AFTERPARTY: The Rothko Studio is a site-specific, promenade performance in and around the former studio of legendary painter Mark Rothko. Built in 1884 for the YMCA as the Young Men’s Institute, 222 Bowery is best known for the many now-famous artists who lived, worked, and played in this landmarked gem. The building’s former gymnasium is where Rothko created the infamous “Seagram Murals” commissioned by The Four Seasons restaurant in 1957. AFTERPARTY explores this pivotal moment for downtown artists and offers a rare opportunity to visit this historic studio space.
Director: RALPH LEWIS
Choreographer: RACHEL COHEN
Composer: MARIA DESSENA
Adapter: BARRY ROWELL
Dramaturg: BARBARA YOSHIDA
Story: S.M. DALE
Concept: KIM DEPOLE, CATHERINE PORTER
Lighting Design: DAVID CASTANEDA
Projection Designer: JANE PARISI
Costume Designer: GRACE MARTIN
Production Stage Manager: HEATHER OLMSTEAD
Assistant Stage Manager: ELLIOTT KARLINER
Press Rep: ANDREA ALTON PR
Creative Consultant: BARBARA PITTS McADAMS
Producers: RALPH LEWIS, CATHERINE PORTER, BARRY ROWELL
Why Only Art Can Save Us: Aesthetics and the Absence of Emergency
by Santiago Zabala
The state of emergency, according to thinkers such as Carl Schmidt, Walter Benjamin, and Giorgio Agamben, is at the heart of any theory of politics. But today the problem is not the crises that we do confront, which are often used by governments to legitimize themselves, but the ones that political realism stops us from recognizing as emergencies, from widespread surveillance to climate change to the systemic shocks of neoliberalism. We need a way of disrupting the existing order that can energize radical democratic action rather than reinforcing the status quo. In this provocative book, Santiago Zabala declares that in an age where the greatest emergency is the absence of an emergency, only contemporary art’s capacity to alter reality can save us.
Why Only Art Can Save Us advances a new aesthetics centered on the nature of the emergency that characterizes the twenty-first century. Zabala draws on Martin Heidegger’s distinction between works of art that rescue us from emergency and those that are rescuers into emergency. The former is a means of cultural politics, conservers of the status quo that conceal emergencies; the latter are disruptive events that thrust us into emergencies. Building on Arthur Danto, Jacques Rancière, and Gianni Vattimo, who made aesthetics more responsive to contemporary art, Zabala argues that works of art are not simply a means of elevating consumerism or contemplating beauty but are points of departure to change the world. Radical artists create works that disclose and demand active intervention in ongoing crises. Interpreting works of art that aim to propel us into absent emergencies, Zabala shows how art’s ability to create new realities is fundamental to the politics of radical democracy in the state of emergency that is the present.
“Santiago Zabala’s Why Only Art Can Save Us is a crucial publication for anyone concerned about the future and necessity of art in the twenty-first century. Its main claim is that the possibility of art lies in its aesthetics of emergency. Although we live in a time of social, political, and environmental emergencies, Zabala makes the convincing case that we tend to repress the emergencies we live in. The aesthetics of emergency discloses the concealment of emergency as the essential emergency, helping us to recover the sense of emergency. This aesthetics proposes a major shift in our understanding of art, which is less about representation than existence.”
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Christine Ross, author of The Past Is the Present; It’s the Future Too.
“Why Only Art Can Save Us examines art that is in touch with the contemporary world, a world that, however you assess such things, is surely in crisis.
HUBERT’S FREAKS: The Rare-Book Dealer, the Times Square Talker, and the Lost Photos of Diane Arbus by Gregory Gibson
From the late 1950s until her death in 1971, renowned photographer Diane Arbus took pictures of oddball performers at the now-forgotten Hubert’s Museum, a typical freak show in New York City’s seedy Times Square. One frequent subject was Charlie Lucas, first a freak himself, later an inside talker. In 2003, Bob Langmuir, an anxiety-ridden, pill-popping, obsessive antiquarian book dealer from Philadelphia, unearthed a collection of photographs and memorabilia, including Lucas’s journals and what he thought was Arbus’s photos. This trove of genuine American kookiness came to dominate his life. Following Langmuir’s quest—from the slums of Philadelphia to the halls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art—as he gathered, priced and ultimately came to understand this collection, author Gibson (Gone Boy), himself an antiquarian book dealer, effortlessly twists these strands together with an emotional wallop. His toil in Hubert’s vineyard, Gibson writes of Langmuir, amounted to no more or less than the continuing archaeology of the old, weird America. Gibson’s laser focuses on Langmuir’s shifting state of mind as he struggles to master his personal demons and navigate the pitfalls of his own obsession gives this story its heart and opens a window onto a lost part of the American soul.
“Certainly, the freaks appealed to Diane Arbus. She counted performers like Suzy the Elephant Skin Girl among her friends, and she was fascinated with the ritualized goof of an act like that of Congo the Jungle Creep, so bad it was good. At the same time, she was completely serious in her study of this archaic form of American entertainment. In her 1962 application for a Guggenheim Fellowship, she listed sideshows as one of her subjects and mentioned: “Hubert’s Dime Museum and Flea Circus” among her working locations.
Revelations published a 1956 photo of the entrance to Hubert’s showing the upstairs penny arcade and Hubert’s ticket booth, bright lights and skeeball, posters advertising Susie the Elephant Skin Girl, Lydia Suarez the contortionist, and Princess Sahloo (aka Woogie.) Behind it all, off to the left, was the stairway leading down to that strange world.”
From the moment Bob Langmuir, a down-and-out rare book dealer, spies some intriguing photographs in the archive of a midcentury Times Square freak show, he knows he’s on to something. It turns out he’s made the find of a lifetime–never-before-seen prints by the legendary Diane Arbus. Furthermore, he begins to suspect that what he’s found may add a pivotal chapter to what is now known about Arbus as well as about the “old weird America,” in Greil Marcus’s phrase, that Hubert’s inhabited.
Bob’s ensuing adventure–a roller-coaster ride filled with bizarre characters and coincidences–takes him from the fringes of the rare book business to Sotheby’s, and from the exhibits of a run-down Times Square freak show to the curator’s office of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Will the photos be authenticated? How will Arbus’s notoriously protective daughter react? Most importantly, can Bob, who always manages to screw up his most promising deals, finally make just one big score?
This book is about the relationship between Hubert’s and Diane Arbus and her photography of the performers that worked at Hubert’s. A page-turner for those interested in the art world and the sideshow world and where they meet.
He has been dedicated and very busy. Here is a glimpse of his bio:
He attended a full two years course at AMDA – American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. Graduated in acting with a Master of Fine Arts from The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University.
Gustavo Pace was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for Theater/Acting. He obtained the Extraordinary VISA for Arts, based on shows and theater activities performed in the United States and Brazil.
Since its inception, the Internet has morphed from merely an extension of traditional media into its own full-fledged civilization. It is among mankind’s great masterpieces—a massive work of art. As an idea, it rivals monotheism. We all inhabit this fascinating place. But its deep logic, its cultural potential, and its societal impact often elude us. In this deep and thoughtful book, Virginia Heffernan presents an original and far-reaching analysis of what the Internet is and does.
Life online, in the highly visual, social, portable, and global incarnation rewards certain virtues. The new medium favors speed, accuracy, wit, prolificacy, and versatility, and its form and functions are changing how we perceive, experience, and understand the world.
“Readers will be enthralled by Heffernan’s unique take on this popular entity. Tech-savvy readers will be drawn to this book, but the concept of technology as creative expression should also entice art lovers. Most important, readers will be encouraged to appreciate the Internet not only for its ability to connect us to one another and information but also for its beauty.”—Library Journal
“Heffernan is a new species of wizard, able to perform literary magic upon supersonic technology. Her superpower is to remove the technology from technology, leaving the essential art. You might get an epiphany, like I did, of what a masterpiece this internet thing is. Heffernan has the cure for the small thinking that everyday hardware often produces. She generates marvelous insights at the speed of light, warmed up by her well-worn classical soul. It’s a joy and revelation to be under her spell.”—Kevin Kelly, author of What Technology Wants and co-founder of Wired