Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Luckily no heatstroke-induced corpses at an otherwise exquisite opening

Exquisite Corpse opened Friday night, and it was a great success! I and everyone else I spoke with were amazed at the turnout (it was so crowded that it took me a flip through the signed guestbook afterwards to discover that in attendance were some guests I didn’t even know were there), and that’s not even taking into consideration the almost unbearable heat; outdoors, the mercury rose to 94ºF—really, Chicago? in September?—while indoors, the masses found themselves without air conditioning and with an abundance of track lights. Thank you, everyone, for sweating it out in the name of art!

If you or anyone you know took any photographs, please send them to artists.on.the.lam {at} gmail {dot} com. Proper attribution will be given, as always, if your images are used.

Throughout the night, the comments I received the most related to the show’s energy and the artwork’s diversity. Indeed, because I gave the artists no rules other than to collaborate with one another, emphasizing that there were no limitations in size or medium, the resulting creations spanned everything from delicate graphite illustrations to a kinetic sculpture named “Pug”—with bicycle inner tubes as skin and tufts of real human hair woven throughout its body—that jumps, rolls its eyes, and swings its neck, a toy from hell that requires direct interaction with its viewer. One of the many other pieces that asked for interaction was artist Adrienne Glover’s advice booth. Questions (and pleas) posed to her throughout the night included:

Should I pursue my coworker crush?
What should I do about an unrequited crush?
What should I do with my life? I want to travel.
How do I make an honest living with my idea?
I’m about to graduate. I need advice about getting a job.
I want to make muffins! Help.
Should I stay married?
Should I quit my job?
I want to relocate to a different country. How should I do that?
How do I become a musician?
Should I come out to my parents?
Where should I go out for drinks tonight?

Exquisite Corpse is far from over. The closing reception / party is on Saturday, September 17, 7–10pm. Most exhibition closings, compared to openings, are like Disney’s low-budget direct-to-video sequels in which only a couple of the washed-up D-list voice actors return, desperate for work, and the songs—oh God, the songs—induce more secondhand embarrassment than watching a certain demographic try to dougie. The closing for this show, however, will be to the opening what Return of the King was to Fellowship of the Ring. An example of what you can expect: artist [and budding local comedian] Caitlin Bergh will be doing a performance piece that involves body painting, rolling of the body onto a blank canvas, and destruction of said canvas.

Until then, gallery hours are by appointment, and you may contact me at, again, artists.on.the.lam {at} gmail {dot} com. Most of the artwork is for sale, and all are reasonably priced. I will also be creating a page on this blog with images of the works and their respective prices. Virtual viewing, of course, isn’t the same as seeing the works in person. After all, a few of the pieces do ask gallery goers to uncover, touch, hug, interact with, step inside, write in, take something from, and leave something in them. And your visit won’t nearly be as hot as the opening. Pinky swear.

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