Have you ever fantasized about going to a sleazy massage parlor masquerading as a health spa where you are administered erotic medicine by svelte nurses in uniform or doctors, depending on your preference? Chris Verene has and he has actualized his imagination that mixes the down-home central Illinois grit that he knows and loves so well with generous dollops of soft porn in color scenario photos depicting the ecstasies of life on the kinky side. At Verene’s “Self-Esteem Salon,” you can lie on a cot and have a smiling doctor take your pulse as one nurse holds your hand and another places a woolly little dog on your legs. A box of Choco-Aid bandages rests by your side in case you need more stimulation. Is this a send-up, a seduction or a short-cut to feeling good about yourself in an atmosphere of “kindness,” as Verene would have it? Let’s have it all ways. (Michael Weinstein)
Through May 3 at Gescheidle, 1039 W. Lake.