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1000 WORDS: FRANCESCO VEZZOLI

GO AHEAD, ADMIT IT: You’re more than a little curious to see Francesco Vezzoli’s contribution to the new Italian Pavilion at the 2007 Venice Biennale. If, for some, disclosing such curiosity might be a kind of quasi confession, it’s in part because Vezzoli’s last Venetian outing—Trailer for a Remake of Gore Vidal’s Caligula, 2005—has over the intervening years become something of an art-world guilty pleasure, an unrepentant consummation of art’s long and sometimes agonized courtship with the firmament of celebrity-addled spectacle. Sure, we’ve managed to carve out an amorphous critical space for Warhol’s late portraits and even Matthew Barney’s hyperproduced extravaganzas, but the same cannot so easily be said of a splashy five-minute video starring Helen Mirren, a gaggle of nubile slave boys, and a cassoneful of golden dildos. And it will only be more difficult to discern proper vanguard

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