The mirage - Page 2

Bring on Liberace: "Double Down: Two Visions of Vegas" goes for broke
Olivo Barbieri's site specific_Los
Angeles 05

Bathing in the sensory overload of "Double Down: Las Vegas," one suspects that — like the arcade in Kiyoshi Kurosawa's apocalyptic Pulse (2001) — Las Vegas would go on glowing and chiming long after all the people are gone.

Dave Hickey begins Liberace: A Rhinestone as Big as the Ritz (BükAmerica, 16 pages, $1.49), a tribute to the ivory-tinkling owner of the world's largest rhinestone, by describing his own balcony view of the Strip, where the neon logos of the Desert Inn, the Stardust, Circus Circus and other sites make the surrounding nature look "bogus as hell." As Hickey puts it, more wittily than Jean Baudrillard, "the honest fakery of the neon" trumps "the fake honesty of the sunset." Perhaps we should replace the face on the one-dollar bill. George Washington has done his time. Bring on Liberace.


Through Jan. 4, 2009; $7–$12.50

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

151 Third St, SF

(415) 357-4000

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