Archive for December, 2008

Gay Man’s View: Why Obama was right for picking Rick Warren

December 18, 2008

This morning I woke up to an irritatingly loud spanking sound that could only mean one thing: millions of my brethren had their panties up in a bunch! I quickly glided out of my Cher-printed duvet, put on my Marilyn wig, slipped into my bunny slippers and rushed to check the news. From coast to coast, my fellow homosexypants were crying “Foul!”, “Mary, stop!” and “Bitch please!” at President-elect Obama‘s choice for his inaugural pastor. Rick Warren, as many of you know, is no friend of the homosucculents (but if his Republican leanings–and I’m just guessing here–are anything to go by, he is a friend of the public-bathroom foot tappers, but that’s a whole other story.) Anyhoobie, Joe Solmonese, the president of the HRC and American Way president Kathryn Kolbert have expressed their concern, disrespect, shock, awe, disbelief, outrage, and other euphemisms for pissed-offness at Obama’s choice.

And I say: relax, ladies and ladies-impersonators. Are we to take Obama’s every choice as reflective of his own belief system? Absolutely not. Time and time again, Obama has stated that he aims to use as many diverse building blocks as circumstances (and logic) would allow in constructing his cabinet so that every American would feel represented. It is only through the revering of difference and the inclusion of Otherness (especially regarding minority status, something that Obama is all too familiar with, needless to say) that the oh-so-tiresome Us vs. Them national bifurcation can be mitigated and overcome. Obama did not elect Warren to hold a prominent position in his cabinet; he did not appoint him to the Supreme Court; he did not announce him to replace Biden as his veep; and he did not change his own stance on LGBT rights. It is only fair that we inspire those who are against us to love us by loving them, to accept us by accepting them, and to grant them the very same equality and access that we so fervently fight for. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to rehearse for my Holidays party tonight, I think I’ll be performing Cher’s “A Different Kind of Love Song.”



Review: Vincent Fecteau at the Art Institute

December 1, 2008

Amidst the deluge of blockbuster exhibitions sprinkled across the city, one of the most understated shows to catch is Vincent Fecteau at the Art Institute . Despite the near absence of any promotional material outside the FOCUS gallery (relegated to the womb of the already secretive Modern & Contemporary wing), Fecteau’s ouevre is arguably the most deserving of special attention. Yet, it is perhaps its cavernous location–one of the very few rooms in the entire museum with no gateway leading elsewhere–that the works exist in an almost prenatal condition and evoke a similar sense of serenity and beauty.

The set of papier mache works–a departure from Fecteau’s erstwhile adaptation of collage as primary medium, are intimate in size, and ranging in color. However, despite the latter’s range, most works are merely bi-chromatic, which creates an unexpected bifurcation of the bodies on which the pigment is applied and demands closer inspection. Fecteau starts by modeling sheets of papier mache on a beach ball, and then thoroughly twisting, folding, redacting, tearing, adding and pressing to form the final product. The outcome is inevitably organic and multifarious. There is no strict frontality, and glancing at the sculptures at pedestal level is as curiosity provoking as hovering several feet above them. Fecteau leaves only minor (and even then, at the very least ambiguous) hints at what could be deduced from the sculptures: a buckle, lapel and a hem on one; a tub, a spinal ridge, and an almost undeniably vaginal fold on another. However, there is no right or wrong and the works appear to recede from conclusiveness as they morph from one phase to another with nebulous agility. Nonetheless, cohesiveness if present, and the works exist in a dialogue with one another, as if sharing an inside joke, or better yet–a secret.