The Wait is Long,
My Dream of You Does Not End

Borrowing from the tradition of fanfiction, the works in The Wait is Long, My Dream of You Does Not End illustrate a fictional relationship with an imagined lover, from initial attraction to eventual heartbreak. I draw upon the aesthetic of online fan communities, blurring the lines between reality, fantasy, and popular culture. Can an invented love interest be more than just an inverse of myself, a strange twin flame with negative space indentations of everything that I am? In fanfiction, many conflicting realities can exist simultaneously. This is especially true when a fan author writes themselves into the narrative, a trope known as a “self-insert” wherein the author creates an avatar of themselves to be included in the story’s world as a significant character. In this work, I illustrate the relationship between myself and Tim “Speed” Speedle, a character from the 2002 police procedural drama CSI: Miami. Speed was a Crime Scene Investigator and series regular from the show’s pilot until his character was killed in a jewellery store shootout in the Season 3 premiere, Lost Son. In my story, cobbled together from personal life experiences, television plotlines, and my imagination, Speed’s CSI tech character acts as a stand-in for multiple real love interests of mine, past and present, rolled up into one supercrush. Though my physical likeness is not rendered in any of these drawings, I am hyper-present in the story as its perpetually lamenting narrator. Just as a fan defines themselves in relation to the figure at the centre of their fandom, I paint an intimate portrait of myself through my public adoration of another. 

Using drawing, installation, video, and poetry as my primary mediums, I produce physical documents as evidence of a star-crossed romance, spanning the course of several years. My graphite and coloured pencil drawings feature a range of references, including text from a diary entry, early 2000s stock photos, a Lizzie McGuire .gif, and several Google-sourced images of CSI’s Tim Speedle, as portrayed by actor Rory Cochrane. I stitch these together through diligent scratching of pencil on paper, forming a storyboard-esque timeline of events, using the visual logic of a dream. In my work, my vulnerability lies in how deeply and openly I contemplate things that on the surface may appear silly or shallow. I use a methodology that involves taking what is typically seen as a frivolous or light-hearted idea very, very seriously, and pushing it to iterative conclusions through my work. To me, a crush is like a personal celebrity, a subject of consuming devotion, yearning, speculation, desire and joy. Someone to perform a presentation of self for, in hopes of being perceived and validated through attention, real or imagined. The paradoxical byproduct of these exuberant, though often futile, efforts is a kind of introspection and a formation of selfhood, independent of a love interest. Through a laborious image-making process, I assert agency over what could otherwise be a very passive state of media absorption. I take things I enjoy: dating shows, online fandom, fantasies of love, genuinely and at face value—claiming them in my own internal world-building. 

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