Visual Arts Picks


Charles Baudelaire once professed he had a "horror of home," and considering all the money I spend at those damn home improvement stores, I can't blame him. But the home of the 19th century isn't the home of 2004, and a new group show called "Domicile" at CoCA explores just what it means to be at home in an age of same-sex couples, Homeland Security, and semi-disposable furniture. Most of the work revisits familiar themes but with creative twists: Margarita Cabrera's espresso makers and Crock-Pots sewn together from vinyl poke fun at consumer fetishism, while Rhonda Weppler's salt and cornflakes boxes recall Warhol's Brillo boxes. John Jenkins IV's minimalist photographs strip the concept of home to its most primal level. Kyeung Jeong creates disturbing childhood scenes on rice paper, and Raul Cordero uses the old "blinking Jesus" technique to conjure images of interior spaces that alternate between order and chaos. And two experimental videos by Nicole Cohen (Spying, shown above) and gallery owner/artist Greg Kucera turn a voyeur's eye on the banalities of domestic space. But the most direct exploration of the relationships among home, voyeurism, and privacy comes from Seattle conceptual artist flatchestedmama. Carting a futon, her desk, and roller skates into CoCA, she'll work, sleep, and eat in the gallery for the duration of the show. Center on Contemporary Art, 10 Dexter Avenue N., 206-728-1980. 2-8 p.m. Tues.-Thurs., noon-5 p.m. Fri.-Sun. Exhibit runs through July 28. ANDREW ENGELSON


Advertising, often considered a black art that deprives individuals of their will to choose, has met its match in Christopher Vacano, who offers retaliation with his exhibit of digital photog­raphy at Gallery 110, "Page Rate: The Cost of Advertising." Ranging from lightly humorous to politically charged, Vacano's images toy with the transformation of word and meaning. In Just Do It (above), the familiar Nike swoosh and slogan are superimposed on an image of young seamstresses hard at work, transforming Nike's sports incentive into a command aimed at oppressed third-worlders. Vacano also takes on Volks­wagen's ad campaign for the New Beetle. The Beetle has a checkered past: During World War II, concentration-camp inmates were forced to work in the Volkswagen automobile plants, an exploit for which the company eventually offered restitution. Hence Vacano's large red swastika over the New Beetle, along with the punch line "Disregard history." Vacano is quick to point out that the corporations whose logos he has appropriated haven't been singled out for attack, but rather are used as general examples of the role advertising plays in shaping consumer culture. In either case, his "subvertisements" knock the feet out from under the ads they satirize—and sell themselves in the process. Gallery 110, 110 S. Washington St., 206-624-9336. Noon-5 p.m. Wed.-Sat. or by appointment, through July 24. SUZANNE BEAL

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