The Smart Set: Lauren Cerand’s weekly events

The Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled and written by Lauren Cerand, that appears Mondays and highlights the best of the week to come. Special favor is given to New York’s independent booksellers and venues, and low-cost and free events. Please submit details to by the Thursday prior to publication, with the date of the event in the subject line.

MONDAY, 11.14: “Within just a few years, the Kunsthaus Bregenz has succeeded in establishing itself as one of the leading international exhibition spaces in Europe with ‘the most compelling exhibition roster in the German-speaking world’.” In a series at the Austrian Cultural Forum, “artists talk to artists, art critics, and curators about their series of works at the Kunsthaus Bregenz and the current status of their work…” Monday evening, Kunsthaus Bregenz director Eckhard Schneider discusses KUB’s studio and mission with artists Franz West and Jason Roades, and Gagosian Gallery director Ealan Wingate. 6:30pm; free, but reservations are requested at Recommended.

TUESDAY, 11.15: Narrative Magazine presents an evening of “reading and cocktails“, featuring James Salter and Narrative Prize winners Min Jin Lee and Pia Z. Ehrhardt. 7:00-9:00pm, suggested donation: $20-100. Recommended. A while ago, I was sent a copy of Bazaar Bizarre in the hopes that I might find it intriguing. I wasn’t sure, but I threw it in my bag when I headed Upstate. Little did I know that I would come back with a shrine to Venice made out of an Altoid tin, complete with bejeweled amorini and a period interior collage. The book is that inspiring. Author and craft fair impresario Greg Der Ananian makes an appearance at groovy HQ, Make Workshop. 6:30pm, free. And, Ron Hogan, author of The Stewardess is Flying The Plane and Joe Bob Briggs, author of Profoundly Erotic: Sexy Films That Changed History, discuss “sex in ’70s films” at Borders, Park Avenue at 57th. 6:30pm, free.

WEDNESDAY, 11.16: With As Smart As They Are: The Author Project, director Joe Pacheco captures the spirit of the McSweeney’s scene in its heyday, as well as a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the collaborative process between the band One Ring Zero and some of the freshest voices in fiction today. The band performs with Rick Moody after a screening of the literary documentary at Makor. 8:00pm, $15. Don’t miss this one. [Full disclosure, as always: I worked with Joe Pacheco to promote the film earlier this year.] And, the gracious and charming critic and poet Robert Long, author of de Kooning’s Bicycle: Artists and Writers in the Hamptons, appears at Lenox Hill Bookstore, one of the very best independent bookstores in New York. Refreshments will be served following the reading. 6:30pm, free. Highly recommended. Elsewhere in the city, Bazaar Bizarre author Greg Der Anian does a book signing at Artez’n, 444 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, complete with wine and cheese. 7:00pm, free. And, New Orleans writer-in-exile Pia Z. Ehrhardt reminds us about her back-to-back engagements (see also: Tuesday), including an event at Symphony Space that’s billed as “An Evening with McSweeneys” (click through for details if just reading that gave you goosebumps).

THURSDAY, 11.17: “Join Norwegian activists Eirik Eiglad and Sveinung Legard for a discussion on the Communalist Scandinavian organization Democratic Alternative….With a political agenda of direct democracy, confederalism, and libertarian socialism, Democratic Alternative is trying to influence the new movements in Northern Europe and communities in Sweden and Norway. Come learn more about their experiences and discuss the possibilities for similar efforts in the U.S.” Christiania Freetown all the way! At Bluestockings. 7:00pm, free. Also, Sally Silvers – described as “our favorite queen of eloquent & intelligent quirk” by The New York Times – & Dancers premiere new work in a program called Puppy Skills, for a four-day engagement at P.S. 122 starting Thursday. 8:00pm, $20. And, painter Glen Holland is in town [Full disclosure, as always: with his wife, author Michelle Herman, who is one of my PR clients] for an opening of a new exhibition of his somber, elegant still lifes at the Fischbach Gallery. My favorite: Tulip in Tincan. 5:00-7:00pm, free.

FRIDAY, 11.18: Paul S. D’Ambrosio, author of Ralph Fasanella’s America, companion catologue to this exhibition of the same name [Full disclosure, as always: I publicized a smaller version of the show while working at the AFL-CIO‘s D.C. headquarters in 2001], gives a lecture on “The Cultural Legacy of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade” at NYU’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center. 6:00pm, free. Also, photographer Mary Ellen Mark appears at McNally-Robinson to discuss Exposure, the latest compendium of her iconic work. 7:00pm, free.

SATURDAY, 11.19: “DCKT Contemporary is pleased to present A Rogue’s Gallery, a new series of work by MARIA E. PIÑERES. With her signature medium of stitched needlepoint images, PIÑERES confronts media-saturated contemporary culture’s favorite guilty-or-not-guilty pleasure: the celebrity mug shot.” Opening reception: 6:00-8:00pm, free. Highly recommended. [via I Get My Show on the Road!]

SUNDAY, 11:20: Sunday Salon presents Twins author Marcy Dermansky, essayist René Georg Vasicek, Walking Mary author James VanOosting, and writer Tom Beer, who is “currently at work on a collection of stories set in Sri Lanka, where he lived in 1989 and 1990.” The series, formerly based in Harlem, now happens monthly at Stain Bar in Williamsburg. 7:00pm, no cover. [Full disclosure, as always: Marcy’s a PR client of mine.]

On heavy rotation at the ‘mo: Extraordinary Machine.


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