By Andres L. Hernandez
A not-so-guilty admission: I’m the reason you’re on the waitlist for that upcoming lecture, film screening or workshop. I’m a chronic “RSVP but don’t attend” kind of guy. It’s a flaw of mine, and I’m working on it—don’t judge me. There’s so much happening in our city at any given time that I’m anxious with FOMO, and yet, I’ve mastered the art of missing it all. I blame your institution and Eventbrite for this. Despite my RSVP addiction (or fueled by it), I’m excited about all things art- and design-related in Chicago this fall. It’s too much to list, but I’ll provide a few of my personal selections here. Hope to see you at one, some, or all of these—trust me, I’ll be there (wink-wink).
September is obese with opportunities, and I’ve never been a faithful dieter. Join me for some creative nosh—I’ll provide the appetite and repartee. We’ll start with appetizers at the Chicago Cultural Center, where “Krista Franklin: Quest for the Marvelous” (September 3-January 8) and “Parsons + Charlesworth: Spectacular Vernacular” (September 10 -January 2) will pique our palates. Then on to the DePaul Art Museum for “On Space and Place: Contemporary Art from Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Vancouver” (September 15-December 18), a special course of Chicago’s finest and other featured artists in the Art21 series. And perhaps the trove of Iraqi architecture on view at Graham Foundation’s “Every Building in Baghdad: the Rifat Chadirji Archives at the Arab Image Foundation” (September 15-December 31) will cure our hunger for international fare? We’ll end with an easy bite at EXPO Chicago (September 22-25) and an exchange between Hans Ulrich Obrist and Joseph Grigely (September 24) as part of its /Dialogues series.
October will haunt us with endless options, but a little event ghosting never hurt anyone. Disguises are in order if we continue this ruse. We’ll be starving artists for Chicago Artists Month 2016 and panhandlers for the 3Arts Awards celebration (October 3)—I think the winners can spare a little change for our troubles. I’ll play the ball, and you can be my flipper at “Skillshot: The Collaborative Art of Pinball” (through November 5) at Columbia College Chicago’s Glass Curtain Gallery. Artist berets are de rigueur for “The Big Draw Evanston” (month of October), and we’ll dress as psychogeographic maps for its Collective Cartography workshop (October 8). Can we replicate Beaux Arts Ball skyscraper costumes in time for Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago (October 15-16)? I have dibs on the Hancock building. Perhaps less cover is necessary for our tableau vivant that blends with life-size photomontages in Jakob Kolding (through October 26) at University of Chicago’s Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society? But we’ll need our best thrift store prêt-à-porter for Chicago History Museum’s “Making Mainbocher: The First American Couturier” (opens October 22).
November and December provide a cornucopia of art and design goodness to transition into the holidays. Tis the season for giving thanks and gifts, and I’ll need a window-shopping partner and fellow Tofurkey carver. Navy Pier will be abuzz and we’ll sneak a peek at SOFA Chicago (November 3-6)—hopefully you’ll take note of my thinly veiled innuendo for gift ideas. Let’s wait to visit the Art Institute of Chicago’s “Moholy-Nagy: Future Present” (through January 3) and “Abstract/Object” (through January 8—perhaps we can sample a few ideas for our holiday card designs? The Logan Center for the Arts provides a pre-holiday treat with “Retrogarde” (November 11-January 1) as part of its “Concrete Happenings” series—I wonder if the avant-garde know it’s Christmas? We’ll catch the last days of “The Making of a Fugitive” (through December 4) at MCA Chicago, and carol with fellow creatives on its front plaza. And if you want, we’ll stage a pop-up holiday parade on a street to be determined, inspired by Elmhurst Art Museum’s “BLOW UP: Inflatable Contemporary Art” (through November 27). Who knew a hand turkey would look so good with helium?
So much to choose from this fall perhaps we can experience not attending, together? I’ve RSVP’d for all the good stuff, have you?
Andres L. Hernandez is a Chicago-based artist, designer and educator. Follow him on Twitter via @VacancyResearch.