The Kitchen Announces Fall 2019 Season

The Kitchen, founded in 1971, is one of the most enduring non-profit arts organizations in the rapidly changing landscape of New York, and it continues to serve as an important catalyst for a broad community of groundbreaking artists working across disciplines.

For its Fall 2019 season, the institution returns in a sense to its loft-culture roots, allowing artists to recast and redefine its spaces according to the changing contours of their individual projects. Comprising works that spatialize everything from sound to music to language to investigations of gender and race, the season not only opens new possibilities for artistic practices at The Kitchen but also sparks dialogue about how artists can reshape the storied place as its 50th anniversary approaches. The season will include James Allister Sprang, Mario Diaz de Leon, Lauren Bakst, Nairy Baghramian & Maria Hassabi, and Roland Young & L'Rain.

The Kitchen Executive Director and Chief Curator Tim Griffin says, "Years ago, The Kitchen started stripping its spaces of fixed definitions like gallery or theater, in dialogue with the desires of artists working here. But this season we're taking this approach a step further, embracing a kind of ground zero in the building to show how the meaning of spaces is fundamentally created through use. Artists' projects over the course of their engagements will move from residency to open studio to final presented performance and/or exhibition, continually changing how the space functions. We hope this approach-reversing the institutional logic where the space typically defines a project as exhibition or performance-will offer new ways for The Kitchen to realize its mission of following the lead of artists in the years ahead. We certainly realize that we are mirroring circumstances in wider culture, where questions are continually being put forward about the changing role of institutions and, more generally, about how they must be reworked in dialogue with the needs of the people who use them today."

For nearly a decade, The Kitchen has periodically given over its entire building to individual artists like Ralph Lemon, Charles Atlas, Gretchen Bender, and ANOHNI, creating opportunities to transplant installations to the stage and performance to the gallery and helping forge groundbreaking institutional languages with contemporary artists. A springboard for this season, however, is seen in artist Kevin Beasley's three-weekend event ASSEMBLY, which offered artists a framework for breaking conventions of both genre and collective viewing while performing across all three floors of the building on stages designed for maximal flexibility. This season at The Kitchen extends those conversations by allowing the building protocols to remain open-ended for artists, beginning with James Allister Sprang's five-week residency, during which he will turn the space into a sculptural sound-based installation for the first full realization of his ongoing project Turning Towards a Radical Listening. Here, sounds and voices will move through, take up space, and be processed by a speech-to-text app, provoking considerations about the coding of sound and language, and about how our social biases are reflected in our technologies. Sprang will engage poets in conversation in the space October 5, 9, and 12, and performances will take place October 17-19, 23, 25, & 26.

The Fall 2019 Season kicks off with The Kitchen L.A.B. (September 18), featuring Taja Cheek, Catherine Damman, and Constance DeJong. It continues with a screening of the film Arto Lindsay 4D, about the boldly experimental composer and former DNA guitarist (September 23); the launch of We Both Laughed in Pleasure: The Selected Diaries of Lou Sullivan, drawn from the vivid journals of author and activist Lou Sullivan, who paved the way towards recognition and visibility for gay trans men (October 1); Lauren Bakst's multifaceted project titled after summer, or not in the kitchen (the bed, the bathroom, the dance floor and other spaces), for which the artist, over 1.5-month residency, will develop a new performance (October 28-December 14); Nairy Baghramian & Maria Hassabi's Entre Deux Actes (Ménage à Quatre), an installation and live performances as part of the Performa 19 Biennial inhabiting two floors of a 1906-built 5th Avenue townhouse (November 6-10); as well as concerts by composer and multi-instrumentalist Mario Diaz de Leon (October 24) and experimental jazz clarinetist Roland Young and songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist L'Rain (Taja Cheek) (November 21).

More information on The Kitchen's Fall 2019 programming is below. Tickets are available online at; by phone at 212.255.5793 x11; and in person at The Kitchen (512 West 19th Street), Tuesdays-Saturdays, 2:00-6:00 P.M.



The Kitchen L.A.B.
September 18, 6:30pm

The Kitchen L.A.B. (Language, Art, Bodies) is a year-long series that brings together artists and writers across disciplines to unpack how the meaning of artistic and cultural terms may shift-and become more resonant or ambiguous-over time. This year, the series considers the term "regeneration" as it pertains to creating something new; as it relates to recycling or re-purposing historic issues or material; and, within the broader cultural and political landscape, as it intersects with the historical question of whether to bring about change through revolution or reform. The first event on September 18 features Taja Cheek, Catherine Damman, and Constance DeJong. For information on later L.A.B. sessions this fall, visit


Arto Lindsay 4D
September 23, 7pm
$10 General / $5 Members

More than forty years after Lindsay screeched onto the New York underground scene with his band DNA-and later appeared at The Kitchen with Ambitious Lovers-his artistry remains radical. A longtime fan of contradictory pairings, Lindsay creates frenetic performances that oscillate from extreme "noise" improvisations to soft and slyly seductive Portuguese crooning. Arto Lindsay 4D takes its title from a theory of Marcel Duchamp that Lindsay quotes onscreen: "There exist three dimensions, but the artist operates in the fourth dimension." Tracing the musician across Japan, Brazil, Italy, and the United States, the film attempts to capture this elusive dimension as navigated by a living legend of the avant-garde. Director André Lavaquial will introduce.


We Both Laughed in Pleasure: The Selected Diaries of Lou Sullivan
October 1, 7pm

Drawn from Sullivan's meticulously kept journals, We Both Laughed in Pleasure (Nightboat Books, 2019) records the life of arguably the first publicly gay trans man to medically transition. To celebrate the book's launch, this event brings together the volume's editors, Ellis Martin and Zach Ozma, and a group of trans artists and activists, including Susan Stryker, Che Gossett, Kay Gabriel, and Mars Hobrecker, for readings and conversation.


James Allister Sprang
Turning Towards a Radical Listening

Conversations: October 5 and 12, 4pm and October 9, 7pm

Performances: October 17-18, 23, 25, 8pm; October 19 and 26, 2pm and 8pm
$15 General / $10 Members

In Turning Towards a Radical Listening, Sprang develops a sculptural sound-based installation over the course of a five-week residency. Beginning the project with conversations among poets including Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Tracie Morris, and M. NourbeSe Philip about how we "become" through uses of language, Sprang will manipulate the resulting recordings in subsequent live performances with speech-to-text technology. Creating an immersive metaphor, these events will reimagine rhetorics of difference in contemporary society, underlining how even though we are programmed by language, changes in listening may yet act as a catalytic force in culture. Curated by Tim Griffin, Lumi Tan, and Alison Burstein.


Mario Diaz de Leon
October 24, 8pm
$20 General / $15 Members

Queenslab, 1618 Decatur Street, Ridgewood, NY

A composer and multi-instrumentalist known for his work spanning the worlds of modern classical, experimental electronic, extreme metal, and creative improvised music, Diaz de Leon celebrates his release of Cycle and Reveal with a one-night performance. A compilation of recent pieces for acoustic instruments with electronics, the album moves from hypnotic repetitions that radically collide with colorful outbursts to primal, incantatory, and improvisatory sonic landscapes. This concert includes a solo audiovisual set by Diaz de Leon followed by performances from Cycle and Reveal by his longtime collaborators in the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and Talea Ensemble. Organized by Lumi Tan.


Lauren Bakst
after summer, or not in the kitchen (the bed, the bathroom, the dance floor and other spaces).
October 28-December 14

Queenslab, 1618 Decatur Street, Ridgewood, NY

While in residence through The Kitchen at Queenslab, Bakst will develop a new performance project titled after summer, or not in the kitchen (the bed, the bathroom, the dance floor and other spaces). Lessons from encounters; a love story between desire and abjection; movement that emerges from contact: after summer is a map of and for an everyday erotics. Bakst's residency will culminate in public performances. Curated by Matthew Lyons. Information on the performances will be announced on shortly.


Nairy Baghramian and Maria Hassabi
Entre Deux Actes (Ménage à Quatre)
November 6-10, 7pm

1014 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

In their largest collaboration to date, Baghramian and Hassabi present Entre Deux Actes (Ménage à Quatre), an installation and live performances inhabiting two floors of a Fifth Avenue townhouse originally built in 1906. Taking cues from the spatial qualities of the building, the two artists turn domestic space into an intimate stage that probes the interplay of architecture and gender while teasing out fantasies. Curated by Charles Aubin for Performa. Co-commissioned by Performa and 1014, and co-produced by The Kitchen, with additional support from Marian Goodman Gallery. Tickets go on sale at on September 26.


Roland P. Young and L'Rain
November 21, 8pm

Public Records, 233 Butler Street, Brooklyn, NY

This double bill brings together Roland P. Young and L'Rain. A classically trained jazz clarinetist, Young has been at the vanguard of American experimental music for decades, from his early days as a radio host on the famed San Francisco radio station KSAN in the 1960s-1970s to his more recent experiments with electronic, jazz, and world genres. Young performs a set of spiritual electronic world jazz music with acoustic instrumentation guiding synthesized rhythms. Brooklyn songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist Taja Cheek performs under the mononym L'Rain. Together with her band, she plays a set of spiritual music equally rooted in RnB, jazz, noise, and pop. Organized by Matthew Lyons. Tickets go on sale at shortly.

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