Jewish World Review
News of the Weird: ART!?
In February, a New York City gallery began offering classes in "anthropomorphic taxidermy," described as a "Victorian hobby" in which mouse carcasses are not only meticulously cleaned and stuffed, but outfitted in handmade miniature 19th-century clothing, such as bloomers. British practitioners are said to have created elaborate scenes featuring scores of the costumed bodies. Class instructor Susan Jeiven said the mice have to look "classy." "I don't like rogue taxidermy." [New York Post, 2-13-2011]
Scottish artist Jane Forbes, 47, won the "Shoe Is Art" competition in Dundee in late 2010 with a work ("Ad Infinitum") that a University of Dundee spokesman called "awe-inspiring." Forbes painted (and photographed) the same pair of shoes every day for 66 consecutive days, hypothesizing that subtle differences in her "mood" would be detectable in any variations in the paint jobs. [BBC News, 12-8-2010]
A 200-exhibit installation on the history of dirt and filth and their importance in our lives opened in a London gallery in March, featuring the ordinary (dust), the educational (a video tribute to New York's Fresh Kills landfill, at one time the world's largest), the medical (vials of historic, nasty-looking secretions from cholera victims), and the artistic (bricks fashioned from feces gathered by India's Dalits, who hand-clean latrines). Dirt may worry us as a society, said the exhibit's curator, but we have learned that we "need bits of it and, guiltily, secretly, we are sometimes drawn to it." Capping the exhibit, leaning against a wall, was what appeared at a distance to be an ordinary broom but whose handle was studded with diamonds and pearls. [Reuters, 3-25-2011]
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© 2011, Chuck Shepherd. Distributed by Universal Uclick