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Fashion Victims

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Melanie Pullen's first solo show of photographs, called "High Fashion Crime Scenes," opens tonight at 7 PM at the ACE Gallery in Beverly Hills located at 9430 Wilshire Boulevard, a little east of Beverly Dr.

Oddly, when discussing her work on her website, Pullen seems unaware that she's riffing on the same material already explored by Guy Bourdin, a real high fashion photographer in the '70s.

Pullen's highly charged images of actual crime scenes reimagined as fashion shoots brings to mind the billboard of Lisa Kudrow's new show on HBO called "The Comeback," hanging over Sunset Blvd, near Highland (pictured above). The image of a Kudrow inserted in a meat grinder never fails to startle us during our morning commute.

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The purpose of Pullen's work is to remind us how much our culture has become desensitized to the image of violent crime or death, thanks to crime-scene shows like "CSI" and its imitators. We also shudder to think that HBO marketers think we all find humor in the (now cliche) idea that Hollywood literally grinds up actresses. Didn't we go through this in the '80s?

Gee, where's the ghost of Andrea Dworkin when we need her?