Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, April 16

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Art Thu Aug 07 2008

One Seedy, Explosive Muse

Earlier this year, Finestra Art Space -- a 125 square-foot exhibition and installation space that overlooks the elevator lobby of the fifth floor in the Fine Arts Building -- invited artists to conduct "visual research" by posing a hypothesis, then responding to it. Finestra's featured artist for August, Barbara Koenen, came up with Muse: an installation in which she explores what she perceives as the "sudden and simultaneous popularity of pomegranates in the U.S., and the declaration of the War on Terror."

Pomegranates, Koenen points out, are an ancient symbol of fertility, as well as the source of the word "grenade." ("The word for 'grenade' and the word for 'pomegranate' are the same in Hebrew, French, Spanish, Italian, Indonesian, and Russian," she adds.) They're also native to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran -- all countries with whom the U.S. government has had "issues" in recent decades. Koenen's installation includes imagery involving both the flavor-bursty fruit and its body-bursting namesake, in an effort to to attain her hoped-for result: "I hope I'm wrong."

On a related note: The War on Terror isn't the only newsworthy connection between pomegranates and conflict. Last month, POM Wonderful won a $1.5 million verdict in its suit against Purely Juice Inc., whom POM had accused of false advertising and misleading marketing. According to the opinion handed down by the U.S. district court in Los Angeles, Purely Juice had been trying to pass off impure (i.e., sugar-sweetened) pomegranate juice as "pure."

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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