August 2004


PHOTOGRAPHS – Christa Holka

Christa Holka, a Chicago-based photographer will exhibit large-scale, color narrative images from her “Poker” and “Drag” series

Christa Holka explores gender expression and performance in her vibrantly colorful, dynamic narrative compositions. Residing in Chicago, she is a member of the gender-bending performance troupe, the Chicago Kings and was the Still Photographer for “The Undergrad” (see below). At first glance, Christa’s ambiguously gendered subjects simply entertain the viewer, but the juxtaposition of their settings related to contemporary world affairs and conspicuous gestures beg a closer investigation.

Christa has completed three series: “Red/White/Blue: Bar/Diner/Motel”(2001), “Drag” (2002) and “Poker” (2003). Her work has shown at Artemesia Gallery, Chicago (Summer, 2001) and The Hat Factory, Chicago (Spring, 2002).

THE UNDERGRAD – Michele Mahoney
super 8 film

Michele Mahoney is a filmmaker, educator, and performer, based in Chicago. Michele’s experimental/narrative short films have been screened in the U.S. and internationally. Mahoney’s work focuses around the exploration and experimentation of gender transgression and more specifically, gender as a political, social, and physical construction. Mahoney’s films, videos, and performances celebrate queer/trans/pan sexuality using humor to introduce such concepts and culture into mainstream communities. Mahoney is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Film, Video, and New Media at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Adjunct Faculty in the Television Department at Columbia College Chicago. Michele has performed with the Chicago Kings as “Joe Chicago” since May 2001.

Mahoney’s “The Undergrad”, an independent Super 8 film will be shown in two, one-time-only screenings at 9:00 pm and 10:30 pm on August 6, 2004 at Newspace Gallery. Suggested donation is $5.00. A post-screening discussion with members of the cast will follow each showing. The 1967 film classic The Graduate is invoked hilariously in “The Undergrad”, whose female/drag king cast re creates the erotic mishaps of Ben and Mrs. Robinson. “The Undergrad” premiered at the Chicago Lesbian and Gay International Film Festival in November, 2003, and has since screened nationally and internationally at the Mardi Gras Film Festival in Sydney, Australia, the 18th London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, IL, the Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, the Milan Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in Italy, and at the 28th San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. The film will screen in Philadelphia, Chapel Hill, NC, Austin, TX, Copenhagen, Denmark, and Glasgow, Scottland in 2004.