12/16/15 1:00pm

Juan Hinojosa in Long Island City

One man’s trash is another man’s prime material for art.

Juan Hinojosa makes collages from Metrocards, candy wrappers, and other bits and pieces he finds on New York City streets. By juxtaposing these items into vivid depictions, he explores consumerism, while his use of symmetry and color creates kaleidoscopic visuals that question the power of brand logos.

The Queens-based mixed-media artist has just finished a four-month residency at Materials for the Arts, a reuse center that the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs operates in Long Island City. (MFTA collects discarded items from businesses and individuals and redistributes them to arts groups and schools.)

The result of the residency is Blonde Ambition, a collection of 12 new decadent collages. Hinojosa took advantage of the diverse and unique objects available in MFTA’s 35,000-square-foot warehouse on this project, and the pieces offer an eclectic assortment of materials with serendipitous results. The exhibit goes live tomorrow at 6 pm. More information and another image are on the jump page.

(more…)

12/11/15 1:00pm

Sarah Cahill at Noguchi Museum

The piano hides no secrets from Sarah Cahill. The California native has commissioned, premiered, and recorded numerous solo compositions, and she has researched and recorded pieces by various other composers, premiering some of them.

Cahill hides no secrets about her love of the piano. She has a weekly radio show. She’s on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory. And she’s going to curate a monthly new music series at the Berkeley Art Museum.

Yesterday, Noguchi Museum unveiled a secret about Cahill. For one week in February (24-28), she will take up residence in the Long Island City venue, performing post-minimalist composer Mamoru Fujieda’s Patterns of Plants during opening hours. A cycle of short pieces, this work is a fusion of nature and technology. To create it, Fujieda measured the electrical impulses on the leaves of plants, using Plantron, a device created by botanist/artist Yūji Dōgane. Fujieda then converted the data he obtained into sound via Max, a visual programming language used for music and multimedia. Another photo and more information on this project are on the jump page.

(more…)

12/04/15 1:00pm

Greater Astoria Historical Society

This American dream is celebrating its Platinum Jubilee (aka its 100th anniversary).

In 1915, Emanuele Ronzoni, an immigrant from Italy who had worked at a macaroni plant in Manhattan, founded his own company and opened a production facility at 35th Street and Northern Boulevard in Long Island City. The specialty was Genoa-style, fancy-cut noodles.

His children, aunts, uncles, and cousins joined him over the decades, and they opened a larger, more modern factory at 50th Street and Northern Boulevard — where a Home Depot stands today — as business boomed in 1950. Some grandchildren came on board in the 1970s before General Foods bought the Ronzoni Macaroni Company in 1984. The plant closed down a few years later.

Emanuele’s great-grandson, Al Ronzoni Jr., will present a lecture on his family’s carbohydrate-rich American tale at the Greater Astoria Historical Society on Monday, December 7. The chronicler, who was known as “Pasta Boy” in his youth, will discuss everything from conversations at his family dinner table on Sundays to the factory’s architecture and he’ll show some vintage photos. Another image and more information on the lecture, which is part of a larger celebration, are on the jump page.

(more…)

10/30/15 1:00pm

Wait Until Dark at The Chain Theatre

It’s 1944, and Susy Hendrix is a Greenwich Village housewife who has just gone blind. Thugs break into her apartment to search for a heroin-stuffed doll. The plot then twists and turns on the way to a shattering conclusion.

This play, Wait Until Dark, premiered on Broadway in 1966. The next year, the thriller was adapted into a Hollywood film starring Audrey Hepburn.

Today, October 30, Variations Theatre Group opens a 15-show run of its adaption of Wait Until Dark at The Chain Theatre in Long Island City. More information and another image are on the jump page.

(more…)

10/09/15 1:00pm

MoMA PS1 in Long Island City

The best things in life are free…and this is about to include MoMa PS1.

Starting this Sunday (October 11), the Long Island City contemporary art center, an affiliate of the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, will waive admission fees for New York City residents for about a year, thanks to a grant from the Anna-Maria & Stephen Kellen Foundation. In order to qualify, visitors will have to present proof of residency, such as a driver’s license or a current utility bill.

The promotion is timed to coincide with the unveiling of a new exhibition, Greater New York, which will showcase work by 157 emerging artists living and working in the New York metropolitan area. The offer will sunset on October 15, 2016, when MoMa PS1 will be celebrating its 40th anniversary. (More information and another image are on the jump page.)

(more…)

10/08/15 1:00pm

Queensboro Dance Festival in Long Island City

It’s no secret that Queens is the most diverse county on the entire planet with an estimated 120 languages spoken within its borders. This diversity extends to the universal language of dance, as the borough is home to troupes that perform everything from Ecuadorian Montubio to Indian Kathak to Korean Sogo Chum.

On Monday (October 12), the Queensboro Dance Festival kicks off at The Secret Theatre in Long Island City. Produced by The Physical Plant, this seven-day extravaganza features 23 choreographers from Astoria, Elmhurst, Howard Beach, Jackson Heights, Long Island City, Saint Albans, Sunnyside, and Woodside. Many of the works will be borough premieres, ranging from bellydance to tap, modern to flamenco. Another image and more festival details, including a list of participants, are on the jump page.

(more…)

10/07/15 1:00pm

Museum of Stone at Noguchi

Nature makes rocks; humans make stones.

The Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi — who also dabbled in architecture, ceramics, furniture, garden design and lighting — was extremely interested rocks and stones. He even believed that they have lifecycles which they experience in a full cycle.

Today (October 7), the Noguchi Museum explores this fascination by opening the first exhibition in its history that mixes the work of contemporary artists with original Noguchi installations. Dubbed “Museum of Stones,” the show includes about 50 rock-based pieces by roughly 30 artists, including MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Janine Antoni, and 15 Chinese rock-related objects on loan from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Another image and more information on the Long Island City-based show are on the jump page.

(more…)

09/30/15 1:00pm

Queens College Exhibit at DeFord Gallery

The Flushing-based Godwin-Ternbach Museum, a part of Queens College, is collaborating with Citi in Long Island City, and the results are inspiring.

Pre-Columbian textiles, contemporary Chinese painting, and objets d’art inspired by Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist teachings are on view at the Citi DeFord Gallery in the lobby of One Court Square. The collection contains 33 pieces, including works by Rembrandt (above) and the Persian poet Rumi.

The opening reception will take place on October 1 at 5:30 pm, and the exhibition will run until January 12, 2016.

Under the tutelage of their art professor, James M. Saslow, Queens College students did the research, writing, and designing of the exhibition, which is organized into five sections that correspond historically to immigration from the borough’s collective origins. More details and another image from the collection are on the jump page.

(more…)

09/16/15 1:00pm

pillowman-chain-theatre-long-island-city-01

Katurian is a fiction writer with a vivid imagination. His short stories often describe violent acts against youngsters based on his memories of his brother, Michal, being abused by their parents before he killed them.

After a string of real-life child murders resemble scenes from his books, Katurian is arrested. Mentally challenged Michal confesses to the crimes and implicates his brother, meaning that Katurian will probably be executed in this unnamed country governed by a totalitarian regime. Then two detectives interrogate Katurian, while narrations and re-enactments of his stories explain how he developed his disturbed imagination.

The Pillowman is a 2003 play by Martin McDonagh which won the 2004 Olivier Award for Best New Play and the 2004-2005 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Foreign Play.

On September 18, a chilling-but-at-times-hilarious version of this work kicks off a 15-performance run at The Chain Theatre in Long Island City. More information on the jump page.

(more…)

09/08/15 1:00pm

jeanine-durning-chocolate-factory-long-island-city-03

Basically, she’s moving and taking over. Jeanine Durning will do a new piece, To Being (September 9-12 and 16-19), and then remount an older but related piece, inging (September 23-26), at The Chocolate Theatre in Long Island City this month. However, this is interpretive dance, and it’s a bit complicated. Durning is known for “nonstopping,” which involves unscripted nonstop “languaging” as performance. The speaker (dancer) works in direct relation with the listener (audience) at the moment of articulation.

To Being is a choreography of persistence: the body continues in ongoing change, relations transform, meanings proliferate and fade. A companion work to inging, the performance is an unending search for an imperative relationship to movement in which dichotomies between self and other, material and immaterial, thought and action, incessantly dissolve. The audience is supposed to ponder the following questions: What’s at stake? Where’s the end? How can we give more when all we feel is that we’ve met our limit?

Meanwhile, inging is a spoken word performance, part reverie, part dance, part oral biography, part meditation and psychotherapy. It is a choreography of the mind, moving in the continuous present. It tracks the velocity of thought through a cascade of words. Durning and her audience are in perpetual disequilibrium, confronted with the limits of language as a paradigm for communication, knowledge and understanding. More information, another photo, and a special ticket offer are on the jump page.

(more…)