At Dallas Contemporary, Inez & Vinoodh: Pretty Much Everything is Sexy, Odd, Awesome

Inez and Vinoodh, Well Basically Basuco is Coke Mixed with Kerosene... - The Face, 1994. Courtesy the artists and Gagosian Gallery, New York.
This exhibition is "Pretty Much Everything," by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, veterans of Vogue, W, and V magazines, as well as several visually dazzling advertising campaigns for products I cannot afford. This exhibition is the antidote for grief over the departure of last year's Jean Paul Gaultier show at the Dallas Museum of Art. This exhibition filters its own prurient fascination with fame and glamour through the perspective of high-concept, highly theatrical photography and video that walks the line between Kafkaesque and Hollywood red carpet. It's sexy and pretty and indulgent and I want to live in it.

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The show winds around fascinating visual fractures -- a super-creepy series called Final Fantasy digitally grafts the mouths of adult men onto little girls in bad wigs -- and revels in both open-mouthed loud eroticism and commercial sensationalism. Lady Gaga is everywhere, including a "Welcome to Paris" video for Fashion Week where she serves as a kind of gatekeeper for a behind-the-scenes tour of The Garden of Earthly Delights.

Inez and Vinoodh, A Two-tone Stretch Satin and Lace Pantsuit by Bertrand Marechal- The Face, 1994. Courtesy the artists and Gagosian Gallery, New York.
The Contemporary redesigned its interior to provide more wall space so this work could be shown properly, and there is a lot to get through. The smooth and glossy bodies in the pictures remind us that we are not only unsettled, but also titillated, by all the strangeness and debauchery. Maybe that's what makes "Pretty Much Everything" so right for Dallas -- it's a physical entry into the pulpy hyper-reality of Vogue's September issue.

We have a succession of supermodels costumed, nude, and hanging from tree branches; we have femme fatale mannerisms from men, women, children, and the artists themselves; we have a refiguring of the alphabet; we have Bill Murray. And through it all, the unblushing, intimate pleasure of observing never diminishes.

Photo: Mei-Chun Jau. Courtesy Dallas Contemporary.
Inez & Vinoodh: Pretty Much Everything runs through December 30th at the Dallas Contemporary.

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