Fulfilled Fantasies Final Countdown

Fulfilled Fantasies Final Countdown

The nearly finalized poster for the show, featuring Valentine Addams shot by Adam Ouahmane

By the time this blog post gets published, the opening night for my thesis and final gallery show, Fulfilled Fantasies: Contemporary Chicago Drag Works, will be nearly upon us. (February 28, 5–7 p.m. at the Hokin Gallery, 623 S. Wabash).

Tonight I have grand plans to go paint the studio walls white for a few hours with about half of the gallery management team, but in the interim I also need to: continue helping the production of certain photographs along, finesse my curatorial essay into the grand piece of academic and interpretive writing that I want it to be about my favorite art form in the world, and design the catalog for the dang thing. I haven’t taken on too much, right?

The semester has had a funky start. After one short week back (due to Martin Luther King Day), Chicago and the globe reminded us that the best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry, and we got slammed with -20 degree weather that shut down school for half of our second week. It was so cold you could throw boiling water into the air and it would immediately turn to steam, an activity my cohort delighted in (see cohort member Lena’s attempt at this link).

Although a little extension to the winter break wasn’t unwelcome, it really messed up my flow, man! And from what I can tell from the conversations around the office, it really messed up everyone’s flow. I wish I could say I spent the time wisely and painted the town red with productivity, but instead I got sucked into catching up both on the latest season of True Detective AND watching season 2, which everyone panned (and I weirdly loved).

That was my rather long winded explanation of saying that I haven’t had a proper amount of time to work with the gallery management team who is helping me mount the gallery show. At first I naively thought that I could single-handedly put this show together. I can be quite a powerful workhorse when I actually sit down and put my mind to it, but then once my wonderful project director, George, and my production leader, Kenneth (also known as the photography MFA graduate ambassador) came onto the team, I was relieved to find out that I could, for once in my life, delegate. George came up with an impressive GANTT chart that has actually organized my thinking about the remaining tasks that need to be done, now that they’re all piled up against the deadline. I thought I could run my life on an endless series of to-do lists, but I see now that something like the chart below can really keep you on task.

Art? Who cares about art? Have you ever seen something so beautiful in your life?

So by the next time I write to you, the gallery will be wonderfully put together and all the major pieces of work will be done, and hopefully I won’t be frantically cracking pistachio nuts as a means of physically manifesting my anxiety. I’ll be in a zen place of absolute serenity without a care in the world. Or…not.

But to entice you, dear reader, to come out to the show, please know that you’re invited to attend the opening of Fulfilled Fantasies on Thursday, February 28 from 5–7 p.m. If you do drag and want to come in drag, the more the merrier. If you just want to sip a La Croix and gaze upon some artworks, that is also great. As one final enticement, here is an image for the show, shot by photographer Maurene Cooper:

Khloe Park, shot by Maurene Cooper for her series Blue Angels