Sliding in the Name of Art
Beginning today and continuing for the next three months, the New Museum will be transformed into a veritable amusement park with a mirrored carousel, a sensory deprivation pool called “Pyscho Tank”, and a 102-foot pneumatic slide descending from the fourth to the second floor, all the work of Brussels-born installation artist Carsten Höller. “Carsten Höller: Experience” is the first survey of the artist’s work to open in New York. He is best known for using time and space the way other artists’ work uses paint or clay; one piece, Double Light Corner, contains a sequence of flashing lights that seems to make the room flip back and forth (235 Bowery, nr. Prince St.; W-Su, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. and 7 p.m.–9 p.m. on Thu; through 1/15; newmuseum.org).
Take a Seat … Anywhere
Last Thursday, the NYC Department of Transportation unveiled the first of what will be 1,000 benches to be installed on sidewalks in the five boroughs. The program, called CityBench, enlists benches designed by local industrial designer Ignacio Ciocchini. Each steel bench is divided into three sections with long, linear cutouts that mimic the whoosh of the traffic around them. The first benches were planted outside East Harlem’s Leonard Covello Senior Center, with 250 more locations being considered; you can make suggestions for future sites on the department’s website, nyc.gov/dot.
Everything Modern Is New Again
Twenty years ago, the Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts presented an exhibition, “Design 1935-1965: What Modern Was,” that became a landmark in the study of the modernist movement. The New York School of Interior Design’s (NYSID) exhibition “Modern in the Past Tense” looks back over the Montreal exhibition through film, photography, and a selection of furniture meant to echo the original exhibition. Tonight, NYSID professor Judith Gura will moderate a panel discussion on the rediscovery of midcentury modernism (170 E. 70th St., nr. Third Ave.; M-F, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; panel discussion 6 p.m., followed by an opening reception at 7:30 p.m.; through January 12; nysid.edu).
Pretty But Not Potable
This Saturday, Cadman Plaza Park gets its own (nonfunctioning) well, courtesy of the Parks Department and Romanian artist Leonard Ursachi. The piece, Well, is made out of acrylic blocks cast from an old Brooklyn paving stone and containing crushed up plastic water bottles. A mirror at the bottom will reflect viewers’ faces, just like an actual well (nr. the intersection of Cadman Plz. E. and Red Cross Pl.; opening reception Oct. 29, 4–6 p.m.; through April 30).