Marianna Torgovnick

  • Skin and Bolts

    The Video
    Multimedia artist Monte Cazazza has made a video of his own genital piercing. There are no titles or credits; we go right to a close-up of a circumcised penis, flaccid in a tangle of pubic hair against a white thigh. Electronic music, is punctuated by the word “surgeon,” repeated over and over in a robotic, heavily synthesized voice.

    A needlelike device enters the scene, in the hand of an unseen operator. It pierces the penis head and leaves behind a single small stud, a gold ball identical to those used in piercing ears in malls all over the country. The ball-adorned penis is displayed

  • the Art of the Monument

    READERS WHO WANT A GUIDE to the Aztec or Mayan ruins that the title Mexican Monuments may connote should not buy this book. For the contributors to this volume, the Aztec and Maya are by definition not Mexican but pre-Hispanic. Mexican monuments draw on the idioms of pre-Hispanic art (the giant head, the decorated pedestal, the pyramid shape) but can only refer ironically to these motifs of a distant past. Tourists will be disappointed, but readers interested in the situation of nations like Mexico or in questions about public art will not. Although written in an entertaining tone that is