As every recent (past 20 years or so) transplant to New York invariably hears, the Village just ain’t what it used to be. One could attribute that to NYU’s eminency over important sites of creativity like the Bottom Line and the Provincetown Playhouse, but on the flipside, the university has done much to preserve the artistic history of the neighborhood. Now at the Grey Art Gallery, Downtown Pix: Mining the Fales Archives 1961–1991 features 300 photos selected from the papers of artists and arts organizations housed in NYU’s Fales Library. The exhibit is as much about the art of photography as it is a history of downtown performance, social movements, and cultural identity. Scan the decades through the lenses of David Wojnarowicz, Diane Arbus, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Andy Warhol; documentations of experimental productions by Richard Foreman and Carolee Schneemann; and Fred McDarrah’s annual chronicling of gay pride celebrations for the Voice. Decide for yourself if the Village is as far gone as they say.

Wed., Feb. 17, 6:30 p.m.; Feb. 17-April 3, 2010