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Art Thou Aware


Tracey Moffat's series of photographs from the 2000 Summer Olympics, which were recently exhibited at the Paul Morris Gallery in New York, expose the more dramatic side of the games, which will be taking place again this February. The series Fourth documents the reactions of fourth-place finishers once they realized they've barely lost. Moffatt reprinted the photographs on canvas and removed all color from the images, except for the losers' bodies. This dramatic interpretation is not without its humor, though, when one considers that Moffatt, a hot Australian artist, lost a race herself when she was not picked to be the official photographer for the Sydney games.


Since the Polaroid Corporation filed for bankruptcy in October, there has been much speculation about where the estimated 24,000 photographs in the company's collection will end up. The collection includes Polaroids taken by Man Ray, William Wegman, Andy Warhol, Ansel Adams, and Robert Mappelthorpe. A particularly fascinating aspect of the collection is the images that were made with a special 20-by-24 inch camera. Patented in 1978, this camera weighs 235 pounds and can churn out 20-by-24-inch color prints immediately. Only six exist in the world today. Company spokespeople attribute Polaroid's bankruptcy to the popularity of going digital.


For those of you who appreciate the artistry of a soulfully-crafted platform, the John Fluevog company is running a contest in which you may be interested. Those who send in an original, funky design for a new shoe may win the contest and be rewarded with the honor of having John Fluevog make their design a reality. Though the novice designer earns an honorable distinction, it should be noted that Fluevog awards no commission and no royalty rights, and zero money for the innovation. Isn't that kind of a kick in the ass with your own shoe?


Because of the faltering economy, the Illinois state government may need to spend money on other projects and abandon its plan of buying one of the 20th century's architectural marvels, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House located 58 miles southwest of Chicago on the Fox River. The Farnsworth House, a one-room building with walls made entirely of glass that is held up off the ground by white piers, was originally built as a country retreat for a Chicago doctor in 1951. Over the years it has had a few different owners, but many hope that the state government will purchase the house and turn it into a public museum.


After ten years of reconstruction, one of the boot's most famous monuments no longer leans to one side. The Tower of Pisa, which was re-aligned by digging out soil to the right side of the structure, is now open to the public again, and straight for the first time in 800 years. In more unfortunate Italian art news, two senior Vatican officials have been accused of art fraud. Allegedly, the two officials had been producing false certificates of authenticity for Greek, Etruscan and Florentine sculptures and paintings that are not the masterpieces they claim to be. A trial awaits. ...


One of the lastest sensations to hit New York could be called part performance and part fashion show, or you could just call it what it is: fashion wrestling. "Crouching Bitches² is a monthly event at a club called FUN where fashion aficionados and models wrestle on mats in front of club-goers and judges. There is no strict dress code, the dress just must be fashionable, and apparently anything from biker trash to babydoll innocent to elegant evening wear fits that bill. Could "Crouching Bitches² be a poignant comment on the underlying greed and viciousness beneath the slick surface of the fashion world for these wrestlers, an animalistic statement for high culture purveyors, or just an excuse to watch pretty people get ugly?

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