5 Free Events: Midnight Moment in Times Square and First Friday at Poster House

5 Free Events: Midnight Moment in Times Square and First Friday at Poster House

Looking for something to do? Here is a selection of free events taking place in-person and online this week.

First Friday at Poster House
When: Nov. 5; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern
Where: Poster House; Manhattan

Poster House is expanding its First Friday hours this November to offer up visitors ample time to come check out the institution’s current exhibitions. In addition to going on curatorial tours of the installations “The Push Pin Legacy” (4 p.m.) and “You Won’t Bleed Me” (5:30 p.m.), guests can peruse the archives with Collections Manager Melissa Walker (3 p.m.), catch a screening of the 1972 thriller “Blacula” (6:30 p.m.) and enjoy a set from DJ Ciara Chaii (8 p.m.).

More information about the schedule and COVID-19 policies can be found on the Poster House website.

Left: "Head Out To Oz," 1967, James McMullan. Courtesy of Poster House. Right: "Foxy Brown," 1974, designer unknown, Courtesy of Poster House and Mathieu Bitton.
Left: “Head Out To Oz,” 1967, James McMullan. Courtesy of Poster House. Right: “Foxy Brown,” 1974, designer unknown, Courtesy of Poster House and Mathieu Bitton.

David Zwirner’s Program: Fall 2021
When: Nov. 5; 10 a.m. Eastern
Where: Online via David Zwirner

Hosted by writer and curator Helen Molesworth, the “Program: Fall 2021” livestream from David Zwirner offers insight into the fall exhibitions at the gallery’s New York locations. The day is packed with conversations, including Joy Harjo on Hilma af Klint, Fran Lebowitz on Alice Neel and Cathy Park Hong on Ruth Asawa. There will also be discussions with Portia Zvavahera, Virgil Abloh, Ebony L. Haynes and Kandis Williams.


2021 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize Celebration
When: Nov. 5; 7 p.m. Eastern
Where: Online via the Brooklyn Public Library

Celebrate the 2021 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize Winners in a virtual ceremony, hosted by Isaac Fitzgerald. The recipients of this year’s Fiction/Poetry and Nonfiction awards will be announced during the event, with winners receiving a $5,000 prize.

“The BPL Literary Prize, presented by the Brooklyn Eagles, recognizes writing that captures Brooklyn’s spirit and reflect the borough, one of the most socially and culturally diverse communities in the country,” Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) states on its site. “The prize is selected by both librarians and library staff, drawing on their broad knowledge of literature, contemporary writing, and the many populations they serve.”

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The shortlist of finalists includes “New Yorkers: A City and Its People in Our Time” by Craig Taylor, “Libertie” by Kaitlyn Greenidge, “Pedro’s Theory: Reimagining the Promised Land” by Marcos Gonsalez, “Luster” by Raven Leilani, “The Wild Fox of Yemen: Poems” by Threa Almontaser, “How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship and Community” by Mia Birdsong, “Detransition, Baby” by Torrey Peters and “The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey Into Dark Matter, Spacetime and Dreams Deferred” by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein.


Pamela Council: “Talking Hands – Watch My Nails Don’t Watch Me”
When: Through Nov. 30; nightly from 11:57 p.m. to 12 a.m. Eastern
Where: Times Square; Manhattan

Presented in conjunction with the public art installation “A Fountain for Survivors” (currently on view in Times Square through Dec. 8), “Talking Hands – Watch My Nails Don’t Watch Me” by artist Pamela Council will screen just before midnight throughout November across 80 electronic billboards as part of Times Square Art’s ongoing digital art series Midnight Moment. For the work, Council draws on influencer Amber Wagner’s (@jstlbby) positive messages and the piece features Wagner’s “well-manicured hands interacting with nourishing materials, including oil, fruits, and hair beads, or engaging in self-soothing gestures on a phone call to a friend,” according to a press release. Nail art is by Britney Fahie.

Film still from "Talking Hands – Watch My Nails Don’t Watch Me" by Pamela Council. Courtesy the artist and Times Square Arts.
Film still from “Talking Hands – Watch My Nails Don’t Watch Me” by Pamela Council. Courtesy the artist and Times Square Arts.

“Long fingernails get your attention — hypervisibility. They also give the person wearing them access to a whole new language and way of carrying on,” Council said in a statement. “When she talks to us, Amber Wagner takes her nails and points them back at us. Now we feel seen. It’s subversive; it’s ministry. I see my praxis working as this kind of mirror as well, so I was honored that Ms. Wagner accepted the invitation to come play in my artistic world.”

They continued: “I’m interested in how nails are a site — both architecture and technology — for ripe cultural conversations about the politics of beauty, movement, the right to luxuriate, surveillance, and so much more. With our nails, we can make our points clear.”

Council’s concurrent public art piece “A Fountain for Survivors” is designed to create an enveloping space for visitors and comprises nearly 400,000 hand-placed acrylic fingernails on the piece’s exterior.

“Adorned and protected by a carapace of hundreds of thousands of acrylic fingernails, this fountain is my dedication and offering to Survivors and is open to the public that is outside in Times Square,” Council said in a press release for the installation in August. “On the topic of definition, Survivors know who they are; no one else can proclaim that for you. Conceived and created during a time when we are socially distanced, my goal with this work is to make an invitation to Survivors and a temporary monument that mirrors the experiences of masking & interiority that many have known, and which have now become a part of all of our lives.”

Both installations are free and open to the public.


“A Screen Test for an Adaptation of Giselle”
When: Through Jan. 5; daily at dusk
Where: The High Line at 14th St.; Manhattan

Clocking in at just under nine minutes long, the “eco-feminist thriller” “A Screen Test for an Adaptation of Giselle” by London-based artist Cécile B. Evans places the ballet in a “forest commune in the near future,” where Giselle’s tragic death takes on new possibilities. Visitors can screen the film daily at dusk on the High Line at 14th St.

“In the original ballet, Giselle dies from heartache following the revelation of her suitor Albrecht’s deception; after her death, she saves herself from becoming a Wili — a trapped spirit of a wronged maiden — by in turn saving Albrecht from his own death by exhaustion at the hand of the other spirits,” the High Line explains. “In Evans’s version, Giselle’s death proposes the possibility of escape through the triumph of multiplicity over essentialism.”

Photo by Cécile B. Evans, "A Screen Test for an Adaptation of Giselle," 2019 (still). Courtesy of the artist.
Photo by Cécile B. Evans, “A Screen Test for an Adaptation of Giselle,” 2019 (still). Courtesy of the artist.

Top Image: Film still from "Talking Hands – Watch My Nails Don’t Watch Me" by Pamela Council. Courtesy the artist and Times Square Arts.