2019 Interrogations of Form

“The Park Avenue Armory has two consistent modes: The first is to overwhelm; the second is to inspire a quiet conviction that you’re missing something amazing in another part of the building. Both struck with full force…filling the gilded, schizo-baroque rooms and halls with a dazzling mix of artists, thinkers, and impresarios”

Held in our historic period rooms, these insightful conversations throughout the year feature artists, scholars, cultural leaders, and social trailblazers who gather to offer new points of view and unique perspectives on Armory productions, explore a range of themes and relevant topics, and encourage audiences to think beyond conventional interpretations and perspectives of art.

Sunday Salon: Spoken Word
Sunday, September 22, 2019 at 3:00pm
Tickets: $25

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Park Avenue Armory and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe mark the 20th anniversary of the Friday Night Poetry Slam (and the 45th anniversary of the Cafe) with an afternoon of literature, performance art, poetry slam, and hip-hop featuring past champions and rising artists including Staceyann Chin and Ishmael Reed.

Artist Talk: Antigone
Friday, October 4, 2019 at 6:30pm
Tickets: $15

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Director Satoshi Miyagi is joined by his collaborators in a discussion of the infusion of Japanese Noh theater and other global traditions in the retelling of a classic Greek tragedy.

Symposium: Theaster Gates & The Black Artists Retreat
Opening Celebrations:
Friday, October 11, 2019 at 7:30pm
Sonic Musings, Meditations & Testimonies:
Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 11:00am
Sonic Soul Session #1: Roller Skating Party:
Saturday, October 12, 2019 from 7:00pm–11:00pm
Check Back in September for Ticket Info

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Theaster Gates, a charismatic figure in the contemporary art world, with a practice situated both within and without gallery walls, vacillating between aesthetics, urban planning, and activism, hosts his renowned Black Artists Retreat for the first time outside of Chicago.

For this year’s retreat, Gates, an Armory Artist-in-Residence, welcomes black artists and allies from Chicago, New York, and beyond for a weekend of communion, celebration, and multi-disciplinary exploration of this year’s theme: sonic imagination.

Artist Talk: Judgment Day
Thursday, December 12, 2019 at 6:00pm
Tickets: $15

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Director Richard Jones and his fellow creative team members discuss adapting Ödön von Horváth’s play for the stage and mounting it in an unconventional space.

Sunday Salon: Dance
Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 3:00pm
Tickets: $25

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With ballet at a crossroads, a new generation of pioneering artistic directors gather for an afternoon salon to explore what 21st-century beauty looks like in a field that has often looked backward for inspiration. The salon includes conversations, a demonstration, and the seeds of future collaborations. This salon is presented in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem.


Symposium: Culture in a Changing America
Sunday, February 17, 2019 at 12:00pm, 3:00pm, & 6:30pm


Join an interdisciplinary group of artists, thinkers, activists, academics, and community leaders as they explore the role of culture in a changing America. Two main tracks feature keynote conversations, artist salons, open studios, intimate performances, and interactive workshops. The Art & Identity track explores how artists’ creative practices and individual identities reflect or respond to societal concerns; topics include artistic use of ever-evolving technology, shifting notions of gender, and courageous responses to the impact of racism on art. The Art & Activism track focuses on the power of artists to affect change in their communities through artistic endeavors and activism; it features artist-activists from the film, television, and food industries, architecture practices, as well as artists working in partnership with New York City agencies.

The symposium concludes with a special keynote conversation moderated by The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Director and Chief Curator Thelma Golden, with choreographer, director, and dancer Bill T. Jones, the Kennedy Center’s Marc Bamuthi Joseph, visual artist Julie Mehretu, and musician Toshi Reagon centered on the state of American culture in the age of Trump, followed by a musical performance by Toshi Reagon and special guests.

This symposium is presented in collaboration with The Studio Museum in Harlem.

Artist Talk: The Lehman Trilogy
Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 6:00pm

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Director Sam Mendes and Ben Power discuss adapting Stefano Massini’s epic and realizing the immigrant story in modern times. Playwright Lynn Nottage moderates.

Sunday Salon: Museum as Sanctuary
Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 3:00pm

Tania Bruguera, installation artist and Armory Artist-in-Residence best known for challenging institutions and power structures with her socially-engaged art projects, invites us to engage with the concept of “Museum as Sanctuary.”

The Salon begins with an introduction by Tania Bruguera, followed by a gathering, “Make Sanctuary Not Art”, featuring a sanctuary training and rite led by Luba Cortés (Make the Road New York), Geoff Trenchard (New Sanctuary Coalition), Jackie Vimo (The National Immigration Law Center), and Abou Farman (Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, The New School). The training offers key strategies for fostering and maintaining safe art spaces (even sanctuary neighborhoods) for all people, especially people with precarious immigration status.

On View from 4:30pm–5:30pm
Conversation with the Artists at 4:45pm

The central part of this Salon incorporates artists directly impacted by immigration and uplifts art that shows the complexity and layered experience of being migrant. Throughout the afternoon, the pop up exhibition “You See Me?!?” will be on display. Curated by Sonia Guiñansaca and CultureStrike, the exhibit highlights the art work of undocu-artists Julio Salgado and Emulsify. The video installation, “Con Cámaras Y Sín Papeles”, an archive of a decade of undocumented films spanning from 2007 to 2018, will also be shown.

The Salon concludes with a conversation, “Institutions as Sanctuary in times of Exclusion”, moderated by Tania Bruguera, with Alexandra Délano Alonso (Chair of Global Studies, The New School), Camilo Godoy (Visual Artist), Sonia Guiñansaca (Poet, Activist, Managing Director of CultureStrike), Bitta Mostofi (Commissioner, The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs), and Verónica Ramírez (Women in Motion).

Confrontational Comedy
Friday, May 17, 2019 at 7:00pm

Confrontational Comedy returns for a fourth year, headlined by Nish Kumar (host of BBC’s late-night comedy show, The Mash Report, as well as appearances on Comedy Central’s Stand-Up for Central, Drunk History, The Alternative Comedy Experience & Live At The Comedy Store). Joining him are comedians Charla Lauriston (former writer Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Comedy Central’s Why? W/ Hannibal Buress, TBS’ People of Earth, and FOX’s Ghosted), Billy Wayne Davis (appearances on Conan, Last Comic Standing; comedy albums “Billy Wayne Davis” & “Billy Wayne Davis: Live at Third Man Records”) and Tien Tran (former member of The Second City’s 106th Mainstage revue, Dream Freaks Fall From Space). This unforgettable evening of comedy sets and conversation highlights the power of humor to confront stereotypes and engage audiences around uncomfortable topics. Hosted by Warrington Hudlin (Founding President, Black Filmmaker Foundation; producer of House Party and Boomerang).

Artist Talk: Everything that happened and would happen
Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 5:30pm

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Artist and composer Heiner Goebbels and composer, vocalist and scholar Gelsey Bell discuss the creation of work that defies categorization and the realization of productions in unconventional spaces.

Artist Talk: Drill
Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 6:00pm
Tickets: $15

Hito Steyerl is joined by Anton Vidokle (artist and founder of e-flux), Christopher B. Toepfer (founder of The Neighborhood Foundation), and Ayham Ghraowi (Producer and Assistant Director of Drill) for a conversation about the inspirations, ideas, and creative development of her Armory installation. Curator Tom Eccles moderates.

Performance Lecture: Drill
Saturday, June 29, 2019 at 3:00pm
Tickets: $10

Learning/Unlearning of Violence: Performance Lecture by Vanessa Gravenor
What remnants remain from the US-Pakistani-Saudi proxy war in 1980s Afghanistan – those that continue to write themselves on bodies involved in terrorism, and in the War on Terror? This performance lecture by artist Vanessa Gravenor critically approaches political language coming from the upper echelons of the American government through its inverse: language inserted from below in pedagogy books funded by USAID and other American backers trying to defeat the Soviets and distributed among the Afghani refugees along the Afghan-Pakistani border. Linguistic “lines of fire” are reversed in order to understand present-day feedback loops. The artist will additionally analyze a biographical vocabulary list used when undergoing PTSD therapy, following her injury in the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris.

Screening & Conversation
Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 3:00pm & 5:00pm
Tickets: $10

The Dead Walk Into a Bar: Screening & Conversation with Anton Vidokle, Adam Khalil, and Bayley Sweitzer
The distant future. An orbital facility of unknown origin. Here, the debt of taking a life will be finally repaid…. through resurrection. The victims of military violence across time are systematically brought back to life and guided through the all-too-familiar facility. As a staff of identical ushers draws back layers of confusion and pain, the freshly resurrected gradually become aware of the reality of their corporeal reinsertion: perhaps the world of the living is not a world at all; to be alive in this place may merely be an exhibit. We, the resurrected, overwhelmed by a literal second life, will of course discover our one inevitable destination: a place to sit, have a drink, and talk it out.

Content advisory: The Dead Walk into a Bar contains nudity and material that some may find challenging.


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