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Will Krauland

Crew Profile: Will Krauland

Year you began at The Block (or would have started): 2020 C.E.

1. Can you tell us a bit about your background? What should we know about
you?

I grew up in Maryland. When I was in high school | interned at the National Gallery of Art. The most memorable parts of the experience happened during behind the scenes tours where I got to meet people like the registrar and exhibition designers. I attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Obviously working as a preparator has made me very knowledgable about installation procedures and exhibition design. I don’t think it’s influenced my art work as much as it’s influenced the way I approach designing exhibitions and installations, and methods of archiving work.

2. Memorable experience preparing an exhibition at the Block? Or if this
would have been your first installation at the Block, at another museum or
institution?

One of the last shows I worked on at the Hyde Park Art Center featured a school bus in their main space. I wasn’t present when they brought it in, but I heard they had to let the air out of the tires to fit it through the garage doors. It was pretty filthy inside and out: the inside was covered in dirt, dust, and old school bus detritus; brake fluid or oil also leaked out for the first couple days. Peter and I had to take out all the seats from the interior. The bolts were too rusty so we used angle grinders cut them out. At the time I hated cutting the bolts, I was covered in filth after one chair, and I was worried about starting a fire. In retrospect, it was a very fun experience and really interesting show.

Obviously working as a preparator has made me very knowledgable about installation procedures and exhibition design. I don’t think it’s influenced my art work as much as it’s influenced the way I approach designing exhibitions and installations, and methods of archiving work.

4. Where have you been finding inspiration at this time?

I have been walking around foraging for wildflowers in empty lots and alleyways. I found some really nice hyacinths last week. I’ve been trying to read books that have been sitting on my shelf. My friend Matt put out some music, and I have been re—listening to some old music from the ambient musician Sleep Research Facility. I have been hanging outwith my girlfriend’s cat named Elliot. He’s really stoic and well mannered, but also very goofy. He used to live in a very stressful environment, but he’s so relaxed in his new home, which I find really inspiring.

5. What can you share with us about the work you created for this project?

| used to work in the service industry. I met so many awesome people, especially at the last restaurant where I worked. Preparing food is similar to preparing exhibitions. At the end of pre-shift someone would say something positive or inspirational. My friend Jamie once said something like "food is the only art that literally becomes a part of you." That’s been in my mind for the past two years. These recipes are all meant to be shared, but can be enjoyed alone as well. They’re largely inspired by my favorite chefs and dining experiences. I "wrote" these but they are heavily inspired by foods I’ve eaten at places like Lula Cafe, Marisol, Cafe Marie—Jeanne, Rootstock, and friends’ apartments. Basically, I’ve been trying to remember some of my favorite dishes and have tried to recreate them (sometimes with a little twist). Thanks Jamie, Sarah, Jason, Duncan, and all the servers, bartenders, support staff, prep cooks, and line cooks that have made dining in Chicago so amazing.

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Will Krauland