Xanadu: A Stately Pleasure Dome

Good art often inspires bad art. Occasionally you get the reverse. Then there’s the 1980 roller-disco musical Xanadu, inspired—if in name only—by the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem. The movie is a certified kitsch artifact, and it’s the leaping-off point for 16 artists in the group show Xanadu: A Stately Pleasure Dome. Certainly, they’ve got a lot of material to work with: the opium-eating reverie and dream palace of Coleridge; the Hollywood iconography of Gene Kelly; the Aussie-pop confections of Olivia Newton-John; then there’s the soundtrack by Electric Light Orchestra and other bands. Some participants are responding directly, like Tony Gua, who embeds Newton-John’s pretty mug in a block of Lucite. Others allude indirectly to visions of paradise, like Edie Bresler’s bleak nighttime photo We Sold a Winner 350 Food Mart, where a lucky lottery number might be the ticket to bliss. And even if you don’t like the art at tonight’s reception, there’s always the music of ELO. BRIAN MILLER

Thu., Aug. 5, 6-8 p.m.; Wednesdays-Fridays, 12-5 p.m. Starts: Aug. 5. Continues through Aug. 28, 2010

 
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