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Faking It

In addition to the photos, Krathaus and Coulombe display the actual costumes they wore, a chest filled with war books and other WW II items. Eagle, for her part, has installed a mannequin wearing her opening night gown along with a photo album of the event. These displays poke fun at the "George Washington slept here," "Jackie O. wore this" brand of historicity. In the case of the Army fatigues, the fact that they're the artists' actual clothes does not authenticate their endeavors as Signal Corps members. Instead, it authenticates their attempts at simulation. In Eagle's case, the gown is residual glamour. In it are the rudimentary beginnings of a debutante party, quietly awaiting "Next Year's Girl."

By its very nature, "Justapose" encourages us to think about male versus female perspectives. But it fails to create any enlightening dialogue between the two. Eagle's project and the Signal Corps project inhabit fantasy territories that share no border or bridge. Though each verges on celebrating, or at least enjoying, stereotypic gender roles, Eagle's feminine and the Signal Corps' masculine are not essential but fictional, not "girl art" and "boy art," but possible girl art and boy art. To apprehend them as comprehensive truth would be to miss the point.

"Justapose: Strategy and Style: Explorations in Fictional Narratives" will show through May 4 at Lawndale Art and Performance Center, 4912 Main, 528-5858.

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