Saturday, May 04, 2013
Chicago, Chicago that glorious town! . . . Hadn’t been to Chieta since 2001 when I opened up for Ms. Margaret Cho on the Notorious C.H.O. tour. Hadn’t been invited as a visiting artist since 1993. I adore Chicago and its corn-fed, free range bubble butt bountiful boy beauties. People are so more relaxed in the mid-west and not so careerist like on the west and east coast. I have had some fantastic successes in Chicago at late great Randolph Street Gallery, The Bop Shop, Czar Bar, The Empty Bottle, HomoCore Chicago, and I recorded my legendary album The White To Be Angry with Steve Albini in Chicago at his home studio. The weather was very summer as opposed to Spring and as a visiting artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago I was housed at Comfort Suites Hotel giant 18th floor suite overlooking Michigan Avenue next door to the art deco Carbine and Carbon building. The girls at the front desk of the Comfort Suites were so nice and personable, I forgot how chatty cathy Americans can be. I also chittle chatted with other guests in the hotel and at eateries I was taken to, but of course I didn’t meet any hunks or get laid. 20 years ago on my last visiting artist trip to Chieta I bunked up with a student who became my temporary/contemporary husband. What a booty pie he was. That same kid would be 41 now. God I am an ancient relic. The beautiful Miss Andrea Green director of the visiting artist program picked me up at the Ohare Airport. I packed lightly as my hotel suite featured a washer and dryer. Miss Andrea is breathtakingly exotic looking with sparkling eyes, and one of the most organized young women I have ever met. She eliminated all stress from my visit so that this worry wart didn’t have to bother about a thing. After checking into my suite Miss Andreas took me to a fabu luncheon at the Southwater Kitchen around the corner from my hotel. I usually avoid eating meat, but couldn’t resist one of their meaty meat hamburgers as its hard to get this kind of beef in Berlin which is all about icky snasauges and pork---yuk.My old pal from LA Hector Martinez came to see me even though he just started a new executive position. For years he worked for Affleck Insurance. Hector and his hot muscular Jewish lover of 20 plus years EricLa Pierce just bought a new home overlooking the Silverlake Resourvour. I was jet lagged but Hector took me to this incredible Mexican restaurant called Cuernavaca in the new hipster area of Pilsen. Hector was staying at the University Village loft of his sexy baby brother Danny and gorgeous power bitch sister in-law who are professors at UIC. They were both at a conference in California so Hector had their giant loft flat all to himself and access to their fancy convertible sportscar. I’ve been so spoiled living in Europe and getting invited to Euro Art Festivals and being put in five star hotels with gourmet breakfasts, that I was a bit taken back that The Comfort Suites breaky was so poor with coffee that tasted like a crayon dipped in hot water with plastic cups, plates and utencils. Welcome to the U S of A people! Luckily I was taken out for breakfast at wonderful places like The Palace Grill and The Corner Bakery Café all with scrumpteous fare. The Rich are certainly richer then ever, on every corner of the Millionaire Mile of Michigan Avenue or is it Miracle Mile? was a homeless person holding a cardboard sign. I felt guilty that I was living in the lap of luxury. But lets face it I may be an internationally recognized artist but I still live very hand-to-mouth, have no savings in the bank and I’m the poorest person wearing haute couture. My life is certainly a mixture of startling contradictions, but I've done ok considering I am a ghetto girl. The day I gave my lecturina at the Art Institutes high tech Rubloff Auditorium everything came together with no hitches. The tech staff Devon & Co and my security detail of Miss Freddie were so helpful and accommodating. The Duchess of Cambridge couldn’t have been treated better. I adored my dressing room and the lecture hall was packed even in the balcony with so many adoring children that I felt like a pop star. Every few years I go in an out of vogue and at the moment I seem to be riding the zeitgeist wavelength. It was so lovely to see a lot of old pals and collaborateurs like Mark “Ears” Freitas of HomoCore Chicago who was looking humpy,tanned and svelte with his booty pie long term companion Doug Zerafa. Olde Ears has also made a name for himself lately as a radikal blue movie fetish shtar. Great to reunite with the vivacious Joanna Brown of HomoCore Chieta and her tasty gal pal Carolyn Kotlarski, also little cuddly David Houle,Mark Ruvolo of No Empathy & Robespiere,Chris Kellner,Michael Gallagher and Erik Peterson. I was given a noteworthy introduction by Dr. David Getsy who is the Goldabelle McComb Finn Distinguished Professor of Art History in the Department of Art History, Theory and Criticism. I met musclebound David two years ago when I was DJing at Schwuz and he set the wheels in motion for this visit. Also in the audience legendary black artiste William Pope.L., the lovely fashion plate Laura-Caroline Johnson, Program Coordinator for Visiting Artist’s, Abina Manning Director of Video Data Bank & Tom Colley Collections Mgr., Roberto Sifuentes, Chair, Performance Department who is a collaborator of Guillermo Gomez Pena,Robin Deacon, Amazonian Assistant Professor, Performance Department,Erica Mott, Adjunct Professor, Performance Department,Johanna Tuukkanen, the stylish Artistic Director of ANTI-Contemporary Art Festival in Kuopio, Finland,Robert Dickson, British Consul General of Chicago,Vern Hester, writer with Windy City Times,Peter Taub, Director of Performance Programs, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune and big peniled recording engineer Steve Albini. After my performance lecture they took me to the fancy Park Grill at 11 North Michigan Avenue where I feasted. If you’re in Chicago and someone else is footing the bill go to the Park Grill you won’t regret it. Will write more a little later and sorry for such a long delay.