Video Of The Day: Sleep No More NYC

It’s not every day that I hop onto Gadling in an effort to persuade our readers to go out and purchase tickets for an event that will make a place come to life in a new way, the kind of way that enhances travel and the cultural experiences that come with it, but when I do, I mean it. After going to NYC‘s Sleep No More last night and reading rumors online that it might not be open that much longer, I feel obligated to inform you that this interactive theatrical event is unlike anything else I’ve been to in NYC. If you can get your hands on tickets, you’ll find yourself meandering and sometimes running through five stories of a gigantic loft building in Manhattan’s Chelsea. It will engage your senses and sometimes mess with your mind and, no matter what, give you an incredible insight into NYC’s limit-pushing arts scene. And so, with that hearty recommendation, I give you this behind-the-scenes footage that will provide you a few more details about the event.

Exhibit at Austrian Cultural Forum in New York gives a new perspective on beauty

The Austrian Cultural Forum in New York is currently hosting Beauty Contest, an exhibit featuring 20 international artists focusing their work on their interpretation of beauty. Some of the artists call upon their own experiences being a gay/lesbian, transgendered, or exhibitionist living in eastern Europe, while others comment on beauty’s evolution in terms of society. Visitors can expect these visions to be presented through an array of mediums, including sculpture, video, photography, and painting.

The majority of the artists working on this exhibit live and work in Vienna, Austria, however, there are still some artists who grew up in Austria and moved to New York, and others who have been raised in various American cities. Artists you may recognize include Cindy Sherman, Matthias Herrmann, Kalup Linzy, and Evangelia Kranioti.

The exhibit runs until January 3, 2012, and on certain dates there will be special events held as part of the Beauty Contest program:

  • October 19- A panel discussion will be held at 6:30PM, moderated by Gia Kourlas, the dance editor at Time Out New York as well as a dance critic for the New York Times. Other members of the panel will include French historian, dancer, and choreographer François Chaignaud, American author of The Man in the Grey Flannel Skirt Jon-Jon Goulian, Austrian dancer and choreographer Silke Grabinger, and the curatorial advisor for the exhibition Beauty Contest, Salette Gressett. The discussion will focus on “how emancipatory artistic reflection and practice has fought to reveal the hidden structures of repression toward gender, race, and age and to shake off antiquated visual preconceptions”.
  • November 10- A performance by Austrian artist Maria Petschnig will take place at 7:30PM. It will consist of video clips and live action that suggests fantasies, transitioning from the sensual to the grotesque. The performance will question the difference between public and private as well as one’s actual self verses the staged self.
  • Every Wednesday- Private tours are led at 5PM by co-curator Andreas Stadler.

The gallery is located at 11 East 52nd St. New York, NY 10022 (between Madison and 5th Ave) and the exhibit is open daily from 10am – 6pm.

November is the month for arts in Madrid

Two major festivals in Madrid this month are enough to keep any culture lover happy.

The first and biggest is the Festival de Otoño, an annual extravaganza of theater, dance, music, and even a trio of circuses. The plays are all in Spanish, but dance and music are universal languages so you can still enjoy this festival even if you don’t speak the the local lingo. The styles lean towards the modern and experimental, like the theater/dance fusion of the Belgian production Isabella’s Room about an old blind antiquities collector recounting a life lived through the highs and lows of the Twentieth century, or the multinational collaboration of Whale Watching Tour that fuses avant-garde experimental and folk music. One show to watch out for is The New Vietnamese Circus, which will portray life in a traditional village through juggling, acrobatics, martial arts, and music.

Another cultural highlight this month is the XXVI Festival de Jazz de Madrid. Jazz in Madrid? Yep, while it’s not as famous as Chicago or New Orleans, jazz is big here and there are a lot of cool venues that will be pulling out all the stops for this, the biggest annual jazz festival in Spain. There will be dozens of concerts at clubs around the city featuring artists playing all styles of jazz.

The Festival de Otoño runs from November 4-29. The XXVI Festival de Jazz de Madrid runs November 4-28.