Christina Ko, Catalina Ouyang, and Larissa Pham in Conversation

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Join us Saturday November 16 for a program in conjunction with the exhibition Jia Sung: Chaos, Whims, Lust with Christina Ko, Catalina Ouyang, and Larissa Pham. Each artist will present a piece of writing or body of artwork that expands on themes within Chaos, Whims, Lust, followed by a conversation with Sung.

Catalina Ouyang will read a lyric essay that takes up Journey to the West as a framing conceit. Christina Ko will discuss her body of artworks as they relate to themes in the exhibition such as a hero’s journey and the role of the female figure, subversive space, and the title Chaos, Whims, Lust. Larissa Pham will read from Fantasian, her 2016 novella dealing with themes of identity formation, Asian-American womanhood, and duplicity.

About the Exhibition
Chaos, Whims, Lust is an exhibition by artist Jia Sung that examines the role of the female trickster figure, replacing canonized patriarchal motifs in folklore with narratives of sisterhood, matriarchy, and rebellion. Comprised of over fifty figurative ink and gouache drawings accompanied by handwritten verse and prose poetry, the exhibition takes the form of a spatialized book that reads from right to left around the gallery space.

About the Presenters
Christina Ko is a Korean American artist living and working in Queens, NY. She received her BFA from Cornell University in 2013 and has since then shown her work in Los Angeles, CA, Washington D.C., and in around NYC. Selected exhibitions include: “Downloading Place”, Wave Hill, Bronx, NY (2019); “Fever Lure”, Selenas Mountain Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (2019); “Crossover: East and West”, Korean Cultural Center, Washington D.C. (2018), and “Nightcall”, Public Address Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (2017). Her work has also been featured in Gallery Gurls, the Arcade Project Zine, Hiss Magazine, The Fader magazine, The Washington Post, and Ballpit Magazine.

Catalina Ouyang is a visual artist and child of the Chinese diaspora by way of St. Louis, New Jersey, and a cul-de-sac outside of Chicago. Her non-disciplinary practice spans sculpture, text, installation, performance, video, and participatory projects, among other modalities, exploring the interstices of myth, desire, subjugation, and monstrosity. Ouyang has had solo exhibitions at Rubber Factory (New York, NY), Selena Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), Make Room (Los Angeles, CA), Trestle Projects (Brooklyn, NY), the Millitzer Gallery (St. Louis, MO), and fort gondo compound for the arts (St. Louis, MO). Her work has been included in group exhibitions internationally, including at Helena Anrather (New York, NY), fffriedrich (Frankfurt, Germany), like a little disaster (Polignano a Mare, Italy), Anonymous Gallery (Mexico City, Mexico), projects+gallery (St. Louis, Missouri), No Place (Columbus, Ohio), and Gallery 400 (Chicago, IL). She holds an MFA in Sculpture from Yale University.

Larissa Pham is an artist and writer based in Brooklyn. She is the author of Fantasian (Badlands Unlimited 2016). Pham is the “Devil in the Details” columnist at the Paris Review Daily, and has published essays and criticism in POETRY, The Nation, Art in America, Guernica, Bookforum, Village Voice, and elsewhere. In 2017, Pham was an inaugural Yi Dae Up fellowship recipient from the Jack Jones Literary Arts Retreat. She has taught with the Asian American Writers Workshop and Kundiman.

Unsound New York

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Without resting much after Unsound Krakow, Unsound is set to return to New York on November 22nd and 23rd. Unsound New York 2019 is the first step toward a new Unsound future in the city, with the two-day event culminating with Knockdown Center as the main presenter and venue. The focus of the 2019 program is entirely on live shows and performances.

22nd November, free opening concert at St. Peter’s Church, Chelsea

23rd November 8pm-2am, Knockdown Center
Abby Echiverri & Leisure Muffin
Amnesia Scanner
Caterina Barbieri
Further Reductions
January Hunt + Octonomy
Nivhek (aka Grouper)
Pedestrian Deposit
rrao + Clay Wilson
Shredded Nerve + Jackson Pratt
The Bug + MISS RED
Tim Hecker + Konoyo Ensemble
Via App + Bookworms present: Asthyna

Resident Advisor:

Unsound New York 2019 is presented by Unsound and Knockdown Center in partnership with Blank Forms, The Bunker and Quo Vadis.
Soft Power is organised in collaboration with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the Polska Music programme and POLSKA 100, the international cultural programme celebrating the centenary of Poland regaining independence. Financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland as part of the multi-annual programme NIEPODLEGŁA 2017–2022.
Księżyc is presented by Blank Forms and the Polish Cultural Institute New York.
Caterina Barbieri and Miss Red are presented with We Are Europe.

Facility Magazine Launch

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Join Facility magazine in celebrating the release of their inaugural issue — in the bathroom. Facility, the magazine that views society through the lens of the bathroom, is taking over one of Knockdown Center’s all-gender, wheelchair-accessible restrooms for a night of readings, installations, a special Facility-themed cocktail, and more.

Readings by:
Chloë Bass
Elizabeth Gumport
A.S. Hamrah
Heather Johnson & Svetlana Kitto
René Kladzyk
Jane Marchant
Erin Sheehy

Installations by:
Keenan Bennett
Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin

Facility treats the bathroom as a small but interesting window through which to view the world. Issue 1 includes: an interview with plumbers, bath riots on the El Paso-Juárez border, the origins of sex-segregated bathrooms, urine drinking, a history of fluorescent lighting, plus reviews of pills, ductwork, glycerin, and mirrors — and much more.

RAW WINE New York 2019

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RAW WINE, the world’s leading natural, low-intervention organic and biodynamic wine fair since 2012
returns to Montréal, New York and Los Angeles, and debuts their roving fair in Miami for the first time (the
one day fair will move to a different market each year).

RAW WINE is Master of Wine Isabelle Legeron’s showcase of some of the best wine talent in the world –
leading the charge for transparency, providing clarity to consumers and driving the conversation to know
what’s in your glass. The fair will bring together producers, chefs, sommeliers and drinkers to showcase
what natural wine is all about, aiming to help new growers target the U.S. market and existing wineries
reach the still developing natural wine scene.

Notes from the Sidelines

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Join us for an evening with performers and scholars who will engage and unpack some of the central concepts, approaches, and artworks contained in the exhibition Xandra Ibarra: Forever Sidepiece. Through lecture, performance, and song, Amber Jamilla Musser, Amelia Bande, and Keijaun Thomas will expand upon the critical conversations that Ibarra’s dynamic work across mediums brings forward.

Scholar Amber Jamilla Musser will walk the audience through the video Untitled Fucking (2013), a collaborative work made by Xandra Ibarra and artist Amber Hawk Swanson, weaving together critical analysis and personal anecdotes of lessons learned from Ibarra’s body of work. Writer and performer Amelia Bande will present a combination of song and text based on personal anecdotes that exercise a sidepiece methodology while drawing out strategies of humor as mode of critique. The evening will conclude with performer Keijaun Thomas, who will present a work in progress that resonates with Ibarra’s engagement with embodiment, excess, and material slippages.

About the Exhibition
Xandra Ibarra: Forever Sidepiece is the first NYC solo exhibition of Oakland-based artist and performer Xandra Ibarra, who also works under the alias La Chica Boom. The exhibition is rooted in Ibarra’s performance practice, extending to sculpture, video, and photographs made between 2012 and 2019, some of which will be on view for the first time. Charged objects like Tapatío bottles, nipple tassels, and cockroaches reappear throughout her work to confront notions of racialized desire and representations of Latinidad, femininity, and queerness.

About the Presenters
Amelia Bande is a Brooklyn-based artist, writer and performer from Chile. Her work has been shown at Artists Space, The Poetry Project, Storm King Arts Center, Tang Museum, MoMA Library, MIX NYC, Participant, Inc and more. She has been an artist in residence The Shandaken Project, Yaddo and FIAR. Her chapbook The Clothes We Wear was published by Belladonna in 2017. Amelia teaches Spanish at CUNY and NYU.

Amber Jamilla Musser is Associate Professor of American Studies at George Washington University and the author of Sensational Flesh: Race, Power, and Masochism (NYU, 2014) and Sensual Excess: Queer Femininity and Brown Jouissance, which was published by NYU Press in November.

Keijaun Thomas creates live performances and multimedia installations that oscillate between movement and materials that function as tools, objects and structures, as well as a visual language that can be read, observed, and repeated within spatial, temporal, and sensorial environments. Her work investigates the histories, symbols, and images that construct notions of Black identity within black personhood. Thomas examines, deconstructs, and reconstructs notions of visibility, hyper-visibility, passing, trespassing, eroticized, and marginalized representations of the black body in relation to disposable labor, domestic service, and notions of thingness amongst materials — her work investigates the histories, symbols, and images that construct notions of Black identity within Black personhood. Thomas earned their Masters degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Thomas has presented work nationally and internationally in Los Angeles and Palo, Alto, CA; Portland, OR; Portland, ME; Chicago, IL; Saugatuck, MI; Steuben, WI; Boston and Cambridge, MA; New York, NY; Miami, FL; and Taipei, Taiwan; Paris, France; Mexico City, Mexico; Santiago, Chile; Istanbul, Turkey; Beirut, Lebanon; Kuopio, Finland, Saskatchewan and Vancouver, Canada; and the United Kingdom.

Jia Sung: Chaos, Whims, Lust

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Exhibition Events
Saturday, November 16, 6pm
Christina Ko, Catalina Ouyang, and Larissa Pham in Conversation

Knockdown Center is pleased to present Jia Sung: Chaos, Whims, Lust, an exhibition that examines the role of the female trickster figure. Comprised of over fifty figurative ink and gouache drawings accompanied by handwritten verse and prose poetry, the exhibition takes the form of a spatialized book that reads from right to left around the gallery space.

Mythologies of the hero’s journey are historically peppered with violence, and fables of man’s ascension into sainthood tend to be permeated with the shunning, maiming, and killing of threatening female figures. For Chaos, Whims, Lust, Sung replaces canonized patriarchal motifs present in the allegorical classic Journey to the West with narratives of sisterhood, matriarchy, and rebellion, weaving autobiographical elements throughout the epic. Sung toys with the ubiquitous character of the Trickster, a celebrated liminal figure who takes on many faces and traits – idiocy and wisdom, detachment and devotion, wit and somberness – yet rarely rendered female. Instead, clever women in mythology are admonished. Often identified as witches, irreverent women are not seen as playful, but deadly and punished for their games. In this body of work, Sung calls into question the absence of the female trickster figure and emboldens representations of women in mythology by recasting male monks, disciples, and the trickster character of the Monkey King, into monstrous, hybridized femme creatures.

Jia Sung is an artist and educator, born in Minnesota, bred in Singapore, now based in Brooklyn, and received a BFA from RISD in 2015. She was a 2018-2019 Smack Mellon Studio Artist and Van Lier Fellow, and is currently an art director at Guernica and Teaching Artist in Residence at the Hudson River Museum. Her paintings and artist books have been exhibited across North America, including the RISD Museum, Wave Hill, EFA Project Space, Lincoln Center, Yale University, and MOMA PS1, and in publications including Hyperallergic, Jacobin Magazine, Asian American Writers Workshop, and The Guardian. She has taught workshops at organizations like the AC Institute, Abrons Arts Center, Children’s Museum of the Arts, and Museum of Chinese in America.

James Allister Sprang: Fragment Scapes

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Knockdown Center is pleased to present James Allister Sprang: Fragment Scapes, the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York. The exhibition comprises two corresponding bodies of work: a selection of floor-based photo-sculptures made from both physical and photographed concrete infused with pigment, and a new series of cyanotypes that capture the imprints of intimate notes and memorabilia. Informed by Sprang’s ongoing excavation of the intersections of recorded sound, photographic processes, and language, these bodies of work simultaneously serve as memorials and tributaries, and call into question limiting modes by which blackness is seen, perceived, and surveilled.

Employing processes of transmission and translation, strategies of abstraction, and materials that allude to urban space, Sprang’s Concrete Color Arrangements point to the ways in which Black bodies are surveilled and rendered flat. To create this body of photo-sculptures, the artist infuses cement with superabundant amounts of pigment that cause large slabs of concrete to become structurally unsound. Once cured, Sprang stands on the brittle slabs and they crack under his feet, creating fragments from which he builds stacked mounds that resemble modest, temporary, monuments or cairns. The artist then photographs the concrete arrangements from above using surveillance optics that evacuate the mounds of vertical dimension, rendering them flat. The photographs are presented horizontally on low concrete slabs in various stages of physical decay that recall the ones documented, evoking sites of memorial.

The artist will also present a new body of cyanotypes which extend the material analogy that Concrete Color Arrangements elicit. Implementing a photographic method that is a technical inverse to the surveillance lens, the cameraless cyanotype process inherently renders objects flat. Here, the lens, camera, and enlarger are absent. Instead, notes and citations from Sprang’s musings on ancestry and generational trauma are placed onto a photosensitive surface and exposed to direct sunlight. The cyanotype documents the degrees of transparency and opacity of these intimate items against a brilliant blue background. This body of work, in part a dedication to the poetry of blue, propose opacity as a strategy to eschew the limitations of capture, and signal the abundance contained within the things that go unseen.

 James Allister Sprang is a first-generation Caribbean-American and creates work that exists in gallery spaces, theater spaces and the space generally found between the ears. Working across mediums—photography, sound, performance, installation—Sprang’s work is best understood as an investigation of poetics, performance, gesture and their documentation. This work is informed by the black radical tradition. 

Sprang has completed residencies both domestically and internationally. He has read/shown/performed at institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Apollo Theater, Dixon Place, Abrons Arts Center, the Brooklyn Museum, The Public Theater, David Nolan Gallery, AUTOMAT Gallery, Vox Populi, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Emerson-Dorsch Gallery, FringeArts, MONOM, Knockdown Center and The Kitchen.

QCA Artist Commissioning Program Information Session

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Learn how you can become part of the commissioning process for the Queens Council of the Arts at an information session on Tuesday October 15, 6 – 8pm! Info Sessions are required for all prospective ACP applicants. More information here, or RSVP here.

About the Queens Council on the Arts Artist Commissioning Program

Queens Council on the Arts is accepting applications for its Artist Commissioning Program (ACP)! Designed to democratize the traditional commissioning process, QCA is seeking individuals with a connection the communities of Maspeth/Ridgewood or Flushing to become an Art Commissioner or ACP Artist.

Art Commissioners evaluate and select the projects, serve in advisory capacity for the selected artists, and participate in monthly art convenings and professional development workshops around commissioning art.

Artists (Choreographers, Composers, Playwrights) receive a $10,000 commission to create a new work. Projects should tell an untold story highlighting underrepresented protagonists, as well as demonstrate a connection to the communities of either Flushing or Maspeth/Queens. ACP artists produce a World Premiere of their project in Queens, and work with an advisory cohort of local Art Commissioners.

Official 2019 Burning Man NYC Decompression

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SEPTEMBER 28/29, 2019 – 1pm to 4am
1pm – 7pm – All Ages
7pm – 4am – 21+

Knockdown Center
52-19 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn NY 11378
3000 person indoor / outdoor venue
For purchase: Full bar / food trucks.

All tickets are $50 (Children under 18 are Free when accompanied by a guardian, 21 or over, with a paid ticket. All attendees under 21 must leave the venue by 7pm)

Please note, on the day of event, subject to availability, the ticket price will go up to $60. This will happen at Friday, Sept. 27th at 11:59pm!

Note that tickets will NOT be sold at the door, they must be purchased through EventBrite!






Eclosión = The emergence of an adult [insect] from its pupa or larval stage

Decompressing from Burning Man 2019, the NYC Burner Community continues it’s Metamorphosis by producing its first large-scale Decom since 2009.

On September 28th, we swarm to a 3000 person venue with 16 insides/outside spaces and 9 sound-systems being activated by multiple theme camps, artists, performers and all of you who are stepping up to get involved.

The final chapter of the Burning Man 2019 Metamorphoses theme, NYC gathers to decompress, reconnect and begin hatching new plans for 2020.
For DECOM 2019, all are welcome in any form of playa style or, to play along with the theme, consider art and costumery that elevates, illuminates or transforms. Morph as any insectoid or amphibian inspired species or realize your own interpretation as numerous east coast community members infest the Knockdown center, coming together in our full, combined glory.
This is an official Burning Man Regional event produced by your New York City Burning Man Regional team and many community member volunteers. Neither Burning Man nor Black Rock City LLC is a producer or organizer of the event. However, this IS a Burning Man sanctioned decompression event.


These were crafted not as a dictate of how people should be and act, but as a reflection of the community’s ethos and culture as it had organically developed since the event’s inception:
* Radical Inclusion
* Gifting
* Decommodification
* Radical Self-reliance
* Radical Self-expression
* Communal Effort
* Civic Responsibility
* Leaving No Trace
* Participation
* Immediacy

Burning Man’s culture honors and promotes freedom of expression, unless that expression harms others.

The Burning Man organization that supports the year-round activities of the Burning Man community, has zero tolerance for behavior that is non-consensual, abusive, or harmful to others.

This includes and is not limited to:
* Violence – both physical and verbal
* Harassment, including non-consensual interactions
* Coercion (abuse of power – including but not limited to sex, drugs, resources, etc.)
* Sexual Assault
* Intoxication while on duty
* Theft or Vandalism

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