VIRAL NOTEBOOK

For example, "They Often Dressed Like Foreigners to Make It Better" by Karl Dowhie is a takeoff on 19th-century Japanese shunga, erotic woodblocks once used by the Japanese as sex manuals. Unfortunately for Dowhie, Masami Teraoka did this sort of visual parody back in the late Seventies and did it better. Robert Schlechty's "Alice and the Looking Glass" looks more than vaguely like something by Roberto Marquez.

And some work, like "Bobbitt's Feast"--a clay penis on a platter with a knife and fork sticking out of it--by the pseudonymous Ima Von DeTwatt is, pardon the pun, just in very bad taste.

Only three pieces in the entire show seemed to hit the mark: a crayon drawing titled "Mi vida poca (My Little Life)" by Rafael Gutierrez; "Membre Erotic Art Plates" by Jo Taulbee, funky, X-rated takeoffs on prehistoric Mimbres pottery; and Keith Gossiaux's series of photographic images sandwiched against academic texts on child sexuality development. The opening for the Exotic Show, featuring "Master of Improvisation" Theodore Christ and "Mistress of Mischeif" [sic] Felicia Fahr, was just about as banal as this show. Leading a group of naked actors, Christ, himself nude, wasted 30 interminable minutes spouting bad, allegedly rhyming verse to a crowd described by a friend of mine as either "yuppies gone bad or bikers turned good." It looked as if these guys were heading to Woodstock and took a wrong turn in Phoenix; dope smoke hanging in the air and Nehru jackets were the only things missing from this nostalgic scenario. While Alwun House should be commended for providing alternative gallery space for artists, it's time for the boys and girls there to leave Neverland--time to grow up and move on. Stuff like the perennial "Exotic Art Show" is showing its age, in more ways than one.

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