Getting to Know Your QCA Leadership

A short Q&A with our incoming Co-Chair, Oli Rodriguez

Oli Rodriquez will be replacing out-going Co-Chair Lily Woodruff at the 2016 CAA Conference this February. For those QCA members attending the conference in DC, be sure to come to the annual business meeting where you can meet Oli and help us say thank you to  Lily for her years of service.


Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Photography Department, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago


BA DePaul University Majors: Psychology and Gender Studies Minor: Photography

MFA The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Film, Video New Media Department

Book I’m reading now: 

Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother AND Sigmund Freud’s Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality 

Book that inspired me in grad school: 

Gregg Bordowitz’s The Aids Crisis is Ridiculous and Other Writings, I Want a Dyke for President by Zoe Leonard, Epistemology of the Closet by Eve Sedgwick, Transgendered Warriors by Les Feinberg, This Bridge Called my Back by Gloria Anzaldúa. (I cannot just choose one, but rely on the intersectionality of them all together!)

Favorite artist: 

Coco Fusco, Gómez-Peña, Gregg Bordowitz, Ron Athey, Cathy Opie, Zoe Leonard

Artist I’d most like to meet: 

Coco Fusco

Best advice received: 

“What project are you working on? What’s next!?”

Working habits: 

I usually have spurts of intense moments of work varying from several minutes to several hours; all while multitasking and simultaneously doing a million things. 

Unexpected art experience:

Teaching with Cathy Opie in a topics research based/studio class I created at SAIC called, “Confronting the Abject,” a cinema class around the history of BDSM, sexuality, otherness and the power of the sexual abject.

Past research/show curated:

I work interdisciplinary between video, photography, performance and installation, my projects focus on concepts of queerness. This includes notions of subversive sexual desire, notions of passing, visualizing performativity of gender, explorations in appropriation, performative interactions with the public as collaborator, and a commitment to displaying the sexual moment while referencing historical movements in gender, racial and feminist histories.

Current research/show curating:

Currently, I am working on a new project called The Last Seduction, based on a show of the same name in Buenos Aires, Argentina at their contemporary art museum there, MNBA. This project is based on a group of late 18th and early 19th century paintings by Uruguayan and Argentinian painters. The European canon of painting has erased indigenous POC folks and whitified South American painting at that time. I am shooting photographs as contemporary versions of the paintings and am inserting the paintings as the background. The portraits all include POC and/or queer folks, which have been eradicated in the paintings through colonialization and the European influence of painting at that time.

Queerest (Art) Experience:

Curating the first explicitly queer show, The Great Refusal: Taking on New Queer Aesthetics (2012), at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Sullivan Galleries. 

Three Things on your playlist: 

LaVerne Baker - Soul On Fire

Smalltown Boy - Bronski Beat

Sylvester - You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)


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