Slightly Unbalanced

With James’s sister giving birth to twin girls (whose Jewish names I am still working out in my head, I have narrowed it down to Bluma, Goola, Stuma, and Henga—all stunning), I realize that there are so many misconceptions about babies. By and large, they are viewed as buttery lumps of stupid coated in cuteness. Actually that part is true—BUT!—a common misconception about babies is that their first word is “mama.” That’s just an ugly, pleated lie. And it’s not “papa” or “dada” or “caca” either. Actually, it is “oh, girl”, combined with a perfect 360-degree eye roll. At least that’s the way it works with me and any other creature who has blossomed into becoming a gorgeously beautiful man. (And if you do know one, send him my way, I take phone calls day and night, just please, no mail order grooms.) So yeah.

Now, keep in mind that I have no idea why I actually wrote what I did above, truth be told. However, a good place to embrace my inner neurotic Jew is “Slightly Unbalanced” at the Chicago Cultural Center. Oh, how I felt at home. Forget that the building is beautifulier—yep, real word— than those mansions reality show contestants are placed in while their fate is being decided by America (and by “America” I mean pre-pubescent girls with enormous braces). The exhibition features incredibly engaging works that deal with tension, anxiety, and the relationship between humans, their body and psyche. Some of my favorite pieces were the candid autobiographical works by Sophie Calle, the OCD photographs by Sarah Hobbs, the discomfort of watching growing pains in C-prints by Mike Kelley, and the disquieting multi-media works by Tony Oursler. All divulged some deeply intimate autobiographical details that in some strange way had a universal resonance. The show helps demystify many myths about the “crazed artist”, and if anything, reveals the interconnecting theme of human vulnerability and quirkiness. I highly recommend it, and guess what, it’s free. It’s also on for one more week, so better unglue yourself from watching yet another Bravo re-run and hurry! So if you happened to be around Millennium Park, no excuses. Unless, of course, you’re busy teaching your baby how to say “oh, girl.”

Moi and Bourgeois

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