Forty feet long, four feet high, with a porcine pink exterior and a blood-red hollowed interior, and featuring a gaping portal at either end, the snakelike whateveritis on first appearance looks like 1) a grisly, forbidding Claes Oldenburg sculpture, 2) a portion of the disemboweled body of Paul Bunyan, or 3) an enter-at-your-own-risk feature at the Fun House from Hell. In fact it is the Colossal Colon, star attraction of a traveling exhibition that seeks to educate the masses about early detection, treatment, and prevention of colorectal cancer. Depending on their particular height, attendees of the twenty-city Colossal Colon Tour can crawl or walk through the oversized model of a human colon, observing en route representations of Crohn's disease, diverticulosis, ulcerative colitis, hemorrhoids, cancerous and noncancerous polyps, and various stages of colon cancer, as well as healthy colon tissue. The less intrepid can peer through external portholes for a similar, if somewhat less vivid, experience.
Based on film footage of a real human colon taken during a colonoscopy, the Colossal Colon is the brainchild of 27-year-old Molly McMaster, who was diagnosed with colon cancer in early 1999 while a student at Colorado State University. She underwent emergency surgery to excise more than two feet of her large intestine, as well as a grapefruit-sized tumor. Eight months of chemotherapy followed. Since then McMaster has dedicated herself to colorectal cancer advocacy, notably "raising awareness of the disease in younger people," as she terms it. "The route I've always taken has been the craziest, most attention-grabbing I can find. The sillier the better." Ergo the Colossal Colon, whose concept she fashioned with the assistance of staffers at the C.R. Wood Cancer Center at Glens Falls Hospital and whose design and construction came courtesy of Adirondack Scenic, Inc., builder of Broadway sets.
The tour also boasts nine interactive educational pit stops, including stations where visitors can speak with healthcare professionals about screening and treatment for colorectal cancer, and hear survivors of the disease share their stories.
McMaster considers the Colossal Colon the "perfect educational tool," a catalyst "to get everyone talking about the disease, which is the first step in eliminating it." --By Michael Yockel
Girls On The Town
While dancing with raw fish
Just plucked my hot pants and belly shirt out of the dryer. Now what's a girl without funds do for fun? Well, it's Thursday and Pearl Late Nights is happening at, uh ... Pearl (One Ocean Dr., Miami Beach). Free admission and parking, a celebrity DJ, dancing girls galore, and, of course, the fabulati. There's sushi too. Exactly what I crave while partying. --By Nina Korman
"Come" Get It
In the world of holograms, things aren't always as they first appear. Especially if the works are created by artist Mark A. Koven. Depending on how and where you stand, his images change -- both in meaning and in substance. Koven's first solo show in Miami, "Come," is a multimedia extravaganza exploring the implications of ordinary acts. Transformed into something else, seemingly harmless gestures can make people feel fabulous or freaky. Warning: Viewers unwittingly will become participants in the whole shebang. "Come" continues from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. through Saturday, March 29, at Dorsch Gallery, 151 NW 24th St. Admission is free. Call 305-576-1278. -- Nina Korman
Doctor's New Bag
You know, Ivana, contemporary art is more than pretty pictures. It's beautiful people. South Beach is the place for a strikingly handsome physician like me to open an art gallery. Glittering condo denizens will come to a fab inaugural gala with works by credible conceptualists Robert Chambers and Pablo Cano. I'll show Salvador Dalí sculptures too. I know, Dalí's so pre-9/11. You'll flip your Manolo Blahniks, Ivana. After all, I've always been convinced that fusing intellect and innovation into art is ... Ivana? ... Darling? ... Wake up! -- Juan Carlos Rodriguez
AJ Japour Gallery opens at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at Murano at Portofino, 1000 South Pointe Dr, ste 3302, Miami Beach. Admission is $175 at the door. Call 305-538-7209.