Puppetry & recycled art are part of new exhibits at Maspeth’s Knockdown Center this weekend

Hanne Tierney, "Baby, Said Alice B. Toklas," Installation view at FiveMyles, courtesy of the Knockdown Center

Maspeth’s arts and event space known as the Knockdown Center is going to have a very busy weekend with three exhibit openings and a performance scheduled for Saturday, April 15.

The day kicks off with the live debut performance of “Flight Over Wasteland,” a reimagining of T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Waste Land” through series of evocative tableaux vivants, choreographed gestures, sculptural objects and sound.

“Flight Over Wasteland” is created by visual artist Liliya Lifanova in collaboration with composer Hiroya Miura and choreographer Davy Bisaro.

The performance will take place on Saturday, April 15, at 3 p.m. The installation — which will be on view on Sunday, April 16 — consists of sculptures, props and garments, and directly references “The Waste Land.”

Following the performance will be an informal Q&A with the curator Jovana Stokic, Knockdown Center’s director and artist Michael Merck, and will be moderated by curator Jodi Waynberg.

Then, from 6 to 9 p.m., three art installations, “Formal Complaint,” “Baby, Said Alice B. Toklas” and “Traveler,” will all have their opening receptions.

Running from April 15 to May 28, “Formal Complaint” is a group exhibition featuring artists Aria Dean, Female Background, Christopher Hanrahan, Mario Navarro and Megan Pahmier, that brings together craft, scrap and architectural minimalism.

Christopher Hanrahan, Standard Model (how it is), 2013. Brass, 15 x 46 ¼ x 45 in., courtesy of the Knockdown Center
Christopher Hanrahan, Standard Model (how it is), 2013. Brass, 15 x 46 ¼ x 45 in., courtesy of the Knockdown Center

The pieces of work are made from discarded materials and everyday objects that returns handiwork to formalism, all while maintaining a sense of slackness. Some of the works include metal armatures that lean and bend precariously; a painting on unstretched canvas that drags on the floor; a sculptural outline of a table rendered in thin strips of brass; and a sculpture with pipes that lean against the wall and stretch across the floor.

Baby, Said Alice B. Toklas,” runs from April 15 to May 28, and is a self-performing object theater produced by puppetry and performance artist Hanne Tierney.

The exhibition is a series of vignettes come to life as cloth figures, hula hoops and other fabric forms gesture, twirl and sway, manipulated by a complex system of mechanized pulleys programmed and designed by engineer Oskar Straumantis, and will be played on a 15-minute loop during gallery hours.

Finally, the Knockdown Center presents the opening reception of Carl E. Hazlewood’s “Traveler,” which runs from April 2 to July 9.

The exhibition features paper sculptures in a wall-length artwork. The title “Traveler” references the way the view has to physically move around in order to grasp the large work, as well as the artist’s shifting subject position.

For more information about the installations and ticket prices, visit the Knockdown Center website.

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