At the Whitney Museum, MPA will remind us to take care of the Earth because the alternative is composting toilets and mandatory exercise, and four more new art exhibits to check out in NYC.
The creative duo known as MPA gave up on Earth back in 2013, when they moved to the California desert to immerse themselves in our future as Mars colonists. The resulting work,Red in Viewat the Whitney, addresses not just the difficulties of the endeavor, but humanity’s complicated history of imperialism, “prompting us to examine our own, often subconscious, colonizing behaviors.” As their grand finale from Feb. 9-19, Malin Arnell and Amapola Prada will spend 10 days inside a small glass-walled space over the Hudson River visible from corner of West and Gansevoort streets, living the strict life of astronauts (i.e. sleeping in shifts and mandatory exercise). Maybe we should save this planet while we still can.99 Gansevoort St., whitney.org
Home: 100 Artists
Ouchi is the Japanese word for “home.” And for each of its 10 years in Downtown Brooklyn, Ouchi Gallery has invited 100 artists “to celebrate the meaning of ouchi” for their signature exhibit, Home. The pieces range from young artists just getting their start to established names fashion photographer Felicia Van Ham; prices range from $30-$2,000. There’s also a note of bitter irony: This is the final “Home” show for the gallery before it closes its doors on April 30. Through Feb. 21, noon-6 p.m., free, 170 Tillary St., Suite 105, Brooklyn
Banned art at MoMA
President Donald Trump’s immigration ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries last Monday has been met with protesters occupying airports and lawyers working inside the arrivals hall to help those denied entry. The Museum of Modern Art is doing its own bit to show what would be lost if we didn’t open our borders (and minds) to these cultures. Its permanent galleries on the fifth floor now feature seven works by artists from banned countries “to affirm the ideals of welcome and freedom as vital to this Museum as they are to the United States.” The pieces are sculptures, paintings and video, created by artists including the late Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid and lauded Iranian contemporary painter Charles Hossein Zenderoudi. 11 W. 53rd St., moma.org
Two takes on tattoos
To explore the techniques of tattooing, the South Street Seaport Museum focuses on Augustus “Gus” Wagner, who got on a boat at age 26 from Marietta, Ohio, in 1898 to travel the world. He returned four years later a tattoo artist with over 260 artworks on his skin — he would go on to collect over 800. At Tattooed New York, the New-York Historical Society covers more than 300 years of ink in the city with 250 artifacts, including Native American body art and sideshow attractions, with a special section about tattooed women. The exhibit covers how the scene thrived even while tattooing was banned in the city from 1961-97 for dubious reasons. Through June 7, $12, 12 Fulton St., southstreetseaportmuseum.org; Through April 30, $20, 170 Central Park West, nyhistory.org