- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 4, 2008

In nose of the beholder

Eight years ago in Belgium, local conceptual artist Jan Fabre covered university pillars in Ghent with ham. Complaints rose with the smell.

Now Mr. Fabre has stirred up a stench in Antwerp — in the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, affectionately known as MuHKA — with his latest installation, called “Spring Is on Its Way.” Onions and potatoes hang from the ceiling in condoms, but they are spoiling, Associated Press reports.

Kathleen Weyts of MuHKA defends Mr. Fabre’s art: “Like many of his works, it is about transformation and metamorphosis.” Local media report that plenty of visitors and museum guards have been protesting. Seems that some shoots broke through the condoms, and other condoms have crashed to the ground from the weight of the veggies. By Monday, the smelly, rotting onions and potatoes were the talk of the town.

“Fabre’s stinking work raises tempers,” the VRT television network said on its Web site.

“It smells of onions, but I would not call it a stink,” MuHKA Director Bart de Baere told VRT.

Mr. Fabre’s creation runs until spring, but veggies that hit the ground are being removed.

“Fabre always says that art must be a bit smelly,” Miss Weyts said.

Stylist injured

Ken Paves, a hairstylist to the stars and friend of singer-actress Jessica Simpson, was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital early Sunday after suffering a cut above his eye from a camera in the horde of paparazzi, E! News reports. The accident occurred while Mr. Paves was leaving the popular Madeo restaurant with Miss Simpson and her entourage.

“There were so many paparazzi waiting for Jessica and trying to get a picture of her that they all started pushing,” an onlooker said. “Jessica was ducking down, and Ken Paves and her other male friend were trying to cover her, and that’s when Ken was hit in the face with a camera.”

“If I were to say anything about Saturday night, it is only to encourage that everyone would respect and care for the safety of others above all else,” Mr. Paves said.

E! News reported the group was “perfectly coiffed.”

Back in action

Patrick Swayze is filming again, less than a year after being given a grim diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. He described chemotherapy as “hell on wheels” but said work had kept him feeling positive, Reuters news agency reports.

Mr. Swayze, 56, is best known for his dance-instructor role in the movie “Dirty Dancing.”

He underwent months of chemotherapy and an experimental drug treatment to beat one of the most virulent forms of cancer, which experts say has only a 5 percent five-year survival rate.

In and out

• Former “One Day at a Time” television star Mackenzie Phillips pleaded guilty Friday in Los Angeles to cocaine possession and was ordered into another drug rehab program. Miss Phillips, 48, thanked police for arresting her at Los Angeles International Airport in August, saying during the court hearing, “They saved my life.”

• Country singer Mindy McCready, 32, was released from the Williamson County Jail in Tennessee on Friday after serving about 30 days for violating probation on a 2004 drug charge, Associated Press reports. She had to serve only about half of her 60-day sentence because of credits she received for good behavior and doing janitorial work in the jail.

Compiled from wire and Web reports

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