Los Angeles

Vanessa Beecroft

Gagosian | Beverly Hills

I'D LIKE TO CALL Vanessa Beecroft the Leni Riefenstahl of performance art, but that wouldn't be fair. Her fascism's fake: No menace or power or insanity, beyond capital, underwrites her project. (She described VB45, her February performance at the Kunsthalle Wien, in which forty-five women stood around wearing nothing but thigh-high black boots by Helmut Lang, as “Nazi-looking.”)

So, VB46, Beecroft's Los Angeles debut a week before the Oscars: In an evenly dispersed cluster, twenty silent women idled, all with depilated crotches, calcimined skin (blanching any tattoos), blonde wigs, dyed blonde eyebrows, shiny pale lipstick, and the latest silver-capped white Alessandro Dell'Acqua stilettos. I write “all,” almost forgetting the high drama of one Asian woman, shod in the same heels but in lavender, with a matching shade of lipstick, and one long-haired redhead, whose pudenda was waxed to a

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