Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Hypocrites too

Two tenured art professors have resigned from the University of California, Los Angeles, because the school refused to suspend a graduate student who may have used a gun during a classroom performance art piece. Chris Burden and Nancy Rubins, internationally known artists who taught at UCLA for more than two decades, filed their retirement papers Dec. 20. "They feel this was sort of domestic terrorism. There should have been more outrage and a firmer response," said Sarah Watson, a director at a Beverly Hills gallery that represents the couple.

In the brief performance on Nov. 29, the student appeared to point a loaded handgun at his head and pull the trigger, a student and law enforcement officials told the Los Angeles Times. The weapon didn't fire, but after the student left the room a noise that sounded like a gunshot was heard outside. Police said no one was hurt and it wasn't known if the firearm was real. Prosecutors said there wasn't enough evidence for charges, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. The student was allowed to continue his studies after the dean's office decided that suspension wasn't warranted.

Burden, 58, oversaw a program that includes performance, installation and video art, while Rubins, 52, taught sculpture. Burden did performance art in the 1970s and his best-known performance featured an assistant shooting him in the arm with a .22-caliber rifle. That work was different because the audience never felt in jeopardy, while the UCLA performance inspired "genuine fear," Watson said.


Two robbers shot dead by remisier: "A remisier shot dead two armed men who tried to rob him in his bungalow in Section 19 here this morning. Two others escaped but one of the men is believed to have been injured after being shot by the 51-year-old remisier. He was arrested at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Klang where he sought treatment for his wound. The remisier suffered a head injury after being slashed with a parang during a scuffle with the armed men. He received several stitches. ... He said the four robbers, all in their 20s, climbed into the compound of the bungalow in SS19/4A and entered the house when the remisier's wife opened the door to go into the front yard at 6.30am." [Note: A remisier is also known as a 'Commissioned Dealer's Representative' -- an independent agent attached to and registered with a stock broking company]

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