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Sunday, 13 May 2007

The Death of Femme Fatale Paris Hilton
A Modern day twist

Daniel Edwards - Paris Hilton Autopsy May 12 - 30


If it was real the headlines would Scream Paris dies in horrific auto accident. One gets the feeling the 'horrific' auto accident wouldn't be quite so kind in death as the sculptor has been to Paris.
Apparently this art was motivated by a desire to educate teenagers about the dangers of underage drinking. I'm not so convinced, especially when you consider the artists previous works.
I have no problem with Edward's art being 'confronting', that's what Art is sometimes.
I'm not so sure I feel so comfortable about Edwards justifying his art through attaching it to a underage drinking campaign.

He states he's using this celebrity:
“as a vehicle for a public-service announcement, to educate teens.”
Well actually to be truthful, I don't lay the entire blame at Edward's feet, I would more likely lay the blame at conservative bodies such as the National Center for the Endowment to the Arts.

This body has become notoriously conservative towards modern art. I would seem that any slightly 'provocative avant guard art' is suffering from the cultural cringe of America's heartland.

In a regressive action for America's cultural community, the actions of self censorship and constructed 'justifications' have become the norm.

It may well be that Edwards is simply marketing himself in a unorthodox way. But I have doubt his 'campaign' isn't motivated by the desire to slip under the odd fence.

You might pose how Paris Hilton end up in a former Brooklyn warehouse- naked, provocatively posed and seemingly lifeless? Despite the sculpture's ironic life like qualities - and its adaption of celebrity cultural values and first page paparazzi photo ethics' there does seem to be a rather sad bathos attached to the forlorn figure of Paris's dog.

The sprawled-out Hilton clutches a cocktail glass in one hand, a cell phone in the other as her distressed dog, Tinkerbell, jumps across her bare chest. Ironically I assume the pose might be reminiscent(?) if not suggestive of a particular genre of videos that have made the rounds of the Internet.

The artist has managed to capture a sense of the ethereal with the display of a mobile and cocktail glass, the sense of its has only just happened. She and her dog are wearing matching tiaras, again suggesting a sense of the 'unreal' which so closely follows Paris in real life.

The Hilton exhibition which opened Friday at a gallery run by Capla Kesting Fine Art in the Williamsburg neighborhood, featured removable innards on a display stand placed in a sexually suggestive manner next to the body.

The artist Daniel Edwards dressed in snow white standing close to the sculpture said;

“Around this time of year, I think of a couple of friends I lost in high school because of drinking and driving,..”

Paris Hilton's spokesman, Elliot Mintz, said he would have no comment on the work.

Edwards started the sculpture in polyester resin in January after Paris was arrested for a violation of her parole in an alcohol-related reckless-driving case.

A judge ordered Ms Hilton, 26, to report to a county jail by June 5 to serve a 45-day sentence for violating the terms of her probation

Paris has instructed her lawyers to appeal the sentence.

The 42-year-old artist Daniel Edwards, acknowledges that Hilton's primary claim to fame is
“as a seductress. But I do respect her ability to build this career out of pretty much nothing.”
He says his provocative use of empty celebrity, plus the shock factor,
“rings a bell, it brings it home. If one person is saved, that's awesome.”
43 year old Daniel lives in Moosup, Conn, and is the father of three.

Gallery director David Kesting said the sculpture counters a disturbingly glamorized trend of Hollywood girls gone wild.

Bagel speculates Paris herself may just end up being the highest bidder.

Students from thirteen to eighteen, are encouraged to take a virtual tour of the installation at http://parishiltonautopsy.com and then compete for prizes by writing an obituary of no more than 300words for the socialite.

At the competition website they quote a few media sources:

"Paris herself would probably take one look at the installation and draw, "Dude, I look great. DUI death is hot.""
- The New Yorker Magazine - The Fug Girls
"There's something about disemboweling a homunculus of Hilton that screams 'fine art,' "
- Wired Magazine
"a bizarre art campaign to warn against the dangers of drink driving."
- The New Zealand Herald
"Through an extraordinary alchemic transform- ation,
Paris Hilton's life has been given meaning."
- Dallas News [BB: meow!!]
- Fox News

I think the Fox News quote is just a little out of left field, I would have thought "Cold!" would be a little more accurate.

Strangely, Paris takes on a almost saintly appearance reminiscent of some reformation statues popular with Lords and Royalty at the time of burial.

If you go to the gallery, by the way, you're encouraged to touch.

A bit like going on a date with Paris, I suspect the conversation is probably just as interesting.


Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Paris Hilton Obituary Writing Contest

Picture Credits: Paris Hilton Obituary Writing Contest
Brooklyn Daily Eagle