The Big Fall News. “Life After…”: a conversation series @ The Rubin Museum in NYC.
Big news, and I’m sending this to YOU before I send it to the internet so you can snap up the tickets. I’ve been working on this conversation series with the Rubin Museum for over two years and I’m SO EXCITED it’s finally TIME TO ANNOUNCE.
I wanted to spend some time this fall in deeper conversations with people. There was the idea of going back to the podcast, but I wanted to GET TOGETHER IN A ROOM WITH ACTUAL PEOPLE. This is way I decided to do it.
So, in short:
I’m doing THREE conversations this fall at teh Rubin Museum of Art on 17th st in NYC. Tickets are $25, and the talks are 90 minutes. DOn’T WORRY! We are recording them for the patreon!
Friday Nov 3rd: “LIFE AFTER LOCKDOWN”, with Tibetan Artist Gonkar Gyotsu. TICKETS.
Friday Nov 10th: “LIFE AFTER WELLNESS”, with writer Sophie Strand. TICKETS.
Friday Nov 17th: “LIFE AFTER TELLING THE TRUTH”, with journalist/activist Noor Tagouri. TICKETS.
THE LONGER STORY:
The theme is “Life After…”, and I’m hoping you all comment below and give me some good ideas about what YOU would like to hear me ask these incredible people. These are open-ended conversations. Anything goes. No topic is barred.
Here’s what I wrote about the event for the Museum’s website:
“Life After…” seems to be the perfect theme for this moment in time.
Everyone I know is feeling fragile, wandering, a bit lost at the moment. Life after lockdown, life after divorce, life after diagnosis, life after feeling asleep, life after having a child, life after losing a parent, life after death…
Who are we after we experience a catastrophic life event? Who are we after we fall in and out of love? Who are we after we change jobs? Who are we after we almost die, but make it out alive?
Each one of these conversation partners I’ve invited – Gonkar, Sophie, and Noor – are the sorts of people who are not afraid to shy away from these big questions. Perhaps we’ll find some answers, but more likely, we’ll all feel less alone and make one another laugh.
I am incredibly excited to be returning to the Rubin for this series of chats. The museum itself – and the art and history it houses – sings the question in our ears the moment we walk through the doors.
We are going to try to film/audio record these BEAUTIFULLY for Thing-ing on the patreon…so if you can’t make it (which I am sure many of you can’t), do not despair. The idea is that the conversations happen in a small space, but the larger community will be able to watch and listen!
The hall is TINY: it fits 137 people! PLEASE COME!!! AND NEW YORKERS: SPREAD THE WORD! I hope this will sell out quickly. Come to all three! I have the feeling these events will be a delicious trio, or duo if you can’t make all three.
MORE ABOUT THE EVENT, THE GUESTS & THE MUSEUM….
The idea of the theme “Life After…” came from Tim McHenry, the curator of the Rubin Museum. We had been exploring how to do some events together, and what was really important at this moment in time. We started this conversation WAY back when I was in New Zealand, still transforming my life from one massive thing to another. “Life After…” seemed to fit in every possible way.
For those not familiar with the museum, you can read more about it HERE. Short story: The Rubin Museum of Art, also known as the Rubin Museum is a museum dedicated to the collection, display, and preservation of the art and cultures of the Himalayas, the Indian Subcontinent, Central Asia and other regions within Eurasia, with a permanent collection focused particularly on Tibetan art. (It is located at 150 West 17th Street in NYC…which is a pretty great neighborhood. 🙂
It’s a beautiful, beautiful space with a tiny theater. It’s just a magical place, trust me.
I have a long history with the museum (and many of my NYC patrons have BEEN THERE, with me). In 2018, I held a wonderful conversation at the museum with neuroscientist David Eagleman (you can watch that on YouTube here, and we also turned it into my FIRST podcast episode EVER – called “The Speed of Art and the Speed of the Heart” – via the patreon, back the THE DAY.)
THE PARTNERS IN “LIFE AFTER….” CONVERSATION:
GONKYAR GYATSO: Friday, Nov 3rd
“Life After Lockdown”
This, below, is a piece of Gonkar’s sculpture called “The Great Equalizer”. I mean…this will indeed be a gorgeous talk. We will talk about Lockdown, Covid, what the pandemic “did” to us as artists, and what it means now with a little bit of hindsight. I have been yearning to have the bigger, deeper talk about what happened to my heart, my head, my art, my voice during all that lockdown. What it meant to our souls.
Gonkar’s such a gentle soul. His work is incredible and hangs all over the world, including at the Met in NYC. It is in turns serious, playful, and sometimes downright hilarious. He has also dealt with a good deal of censorship in his work – being from Tibet and growing up in the 1970s….you can imagine.
His stated modus operandi is to make the process a direct inspiration of life into work, with joy….and to never be bored. I love him. C’mon, Buddha….
Gonkar Gyatso is known for his colourful collages of found stickers, logos and images that irreverently merge popular culture’s iconography with symbols of Buddhist spiritualism. Working across collage, photography, painting and installation, his work charts the ways identities shift in relation to globalisation and migration. Playfully subverting stereotypes of Tibetan culture while reflecting on the popularity of commercial Buddhism in the West, Gyatso considers the hybrid condition of living between cultures.
Born in 1961 in Lhasa, Tibet, Gyatso was the son of a Peoples Liberation Army soldier during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, which saw widespread censorship of art forms that did not adhere to a strict ideological programme. In his early 20s, Gyatso studied traditional Chinese brush painting in Beijing. Following his studies, he decided to travel to Dharamshala, India, to learn thangka—a traditional style of Tibetan painting. This became a turning point for his practice as he began to engage with themes of identity and cultural shapeshifting. In 1984, he moved back to Tibet where he founded the first iteration of Sweet Tea House—the first Tibetan avantgarde artists’ association—in Lhasa.
SOPHIE STRAND: Friday, Nov 10th
“Life After Wellness”
Sophie has become a good friend of mine and speaking with her is beyond a pleasure. When we spoke at Omega this past summer about wellness, the “wellness” industry, what it means to be “well” or “sick”, disability, diagnosis, and how we live in our bodies…I could have talked for another 5 hours. We’ll get at least another 90 minutes. Sophie is one of the most well-spoken and powerful writing voices I know – I’m so glad we nabbed this date.
Sophie Strand is a writer based in the Hudson Valley who focuses on the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, and ecology. But it would probably be more authentic to call her a neo-troubadour animist with a propensity to spin yarns that inevitably turn into love stories.
Give her a salamander and a stone and she’ll write you a love story. Sophie was raised by house cats, puff balls, possums, raccoons, and an opinionated, crippled goose. In every neighborhood she’s ever lived in she has been known as “the walker”. She believes strongly that all thinking happens interstitially – between beings, ideas, differences, mythical gradients.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST…
NOOR TAGOURI: FRIDAY, NOV 17th
“Life After Telling the Truth”
I met Noor through our mutual friend (and mentor) Esther Perel. Noor’s family is from Libya and she has an unbelievable life/career story…and let’s just say that people have some very, very strong feelings about her life choices. Including the choice to be the first woman in a hijab profiled in Playboy (which got her canceled in various quarters; you may notice she’s not wearing a headscarf in the above photo, things have shifted).
She’s done the dance of pain and suffering for many years as a result of telling the truth, for uncovering painful stories, and for uncovering…well, lots of things.
She and I have become better friends recently and we have had an ongoing conversation about the heavy price of telling the truth, whatever that means: about yourself, about your family, about your past, about…everything. The emotional and physical tax. Also: what do we do with these truths we uncover? Art? Journalism? Music? Podcasting? What’s the medium?
This is definitely gonna be the perfect closer.
Noor is an award-winning journalist and producer, a touring speaker for over 15 years, and has told stories in every medium from radio and print, to documentaries and brand campaigns.
Born November 27, 1993, she is the producer of the documentary series on the mistreatment of people with mental disabilities titled The Trouble They’ve Seen: The Forest Haven Story, and of a podcast-series on sex trafficking in the U.S. titled Sold in America: Inside Our Nation’s Sex Trade.
In 2016, she became the first Hijab wearing Muslim woman to appear (fully clothed) in an issue of Playboy magazine.
In 2018, Noor along with her mother, Salwa Tagouri, launched the ISeeYou foundation to amplify the voices of the unheard and unseen.
I cannot wait for these nights.
Please come and help us make them wonderful.