FRIDAY, MAY 31
Book Launch: Elvia Wilk at Swiss Institute In Oval, the debut novel from the writer and editor Eliva Wilk, a new empathy-releasing drug is positioned to become the next big thing for the Berlin club scene. The drug, which shares its name with the title of the book, is invented by one of the book’s protagonists in an attempt to counteract the income disparity that has made the city’s living conditions untenable. In celebration of the novel’s release, Swiss Institute and Soft Skull Press are putting on this book signing, which also includes a conversation between Wilk—who splits time in Berlin and New York—and the New York–based journalist and critic Alice Gregory. Swiss Institute, 38 St Marks Place, 6–8 p.m.
SATURDAY, JUNE 1
Screening: Soleil Ô at Film Forum As part of the series “The Honor of Liberation: Decolonizing Cinema, 1966–1981,” Film Forum is screening a restored print of Soleil Ô (1970), the directorial debut of Med Hondo, who is widely considered one of the most important African filmmakers and who died earlier this year. The film follows a Mauritanian immigrant as he struggles to navigate oppressive work structures in Paris and is partly inspired by the director’s own experience working in France. Hondo once said of his filmmaking, “My work . . . evolves and revolves around the question of colonial history.” Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, 4:50 and 9:00 p.m. Tickets $9/$15
SUNDAY, JUNE 2
Opening: Margaret Wharton and Issy Wood at JTT With this two-person show, JTT offers an intriguing pairing. Margaret Wharton, who died in 2014, is best known for her sculptures resembling design elements that appear to have bodily presences. Issy Wood is a young artist based in London who makes surrealist paintings of sculptures and bodies that have a decidedly supernatural quality to them. Both artists’ works are imbued with an air of mystery, and so is their exhibition’s title: “I came as soon as I heard.” JTT, 191 Chrystie Street, 6–8 p.m.
Performance: Mariana Valencia at Whitney Museum of American Art In Futurity (2019), a new work by the dancer and choreographer Mariana Valencia developed for this year’s iteration of the Whitney Biennial, the social history of the West Side of downtown New York in the 1960s and 1970s is examined through various forms of personal memory. With a process that includes a longstanding writing practice, Valencia uses language and movement to reflect on the surrounding neighborhood’s often invisible lineage. She recently collaborated with the artist Guadalupe Rosales on All That Can Happen, a piece in the form of a “Go-Go Box vitrine” that was presented by the Whitney’s Independent Study Program at the Kitchen. Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort Street, 8 p.m. Tickets $8/$10
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