But it starts to get a little more arty than farty when the show begins to veer further into the theoretical. One such work, So Long, a video installation by Jason Schidel, comprises footage of the acrobatic artist in a cemetery. Schidel isn’t picking his nose or anything — he’s doing somersaults in a big yard where dead people are buried. Then there’s David Robbins’s black-and-white portrait of Jerry Lewis. France’s favorite American was hardly a high-concept comic, nor was he a particularly scatological one — though he did lay the groundwork for Eddie Murphy’s famously flatulent remake of The Nutty Professor — but the Lewis tribute doesn’t seem out of place. It’s a shot of Lewis’s “famous mug,” i.e., Lewis holding a mug emboldened with a caricature of his face (read: mug). What’s surprising is the starkness of the image itself, a moment in which the actor appears to have been caught in a moment of quiet reflection. And in that light it seems Kaufman-esque.

Last February, former–Boston Globe critic Thomas Garvey suggested on his culture blog, “Hub Review,” that Allston Skirt Gallery owners Randi Hopkins (a Phoenix contributor) and Beth Kantrowitz had some kind of a vendetta against artists with a Y chromosome. “I don’t know why, exactly, these two rarely feature men,” wrote Garvey, “but I think it’s safe to assume it’s because they hate them.” Zane, whose work had already been featured at the gallery, thought Garvey’s insinuation was absurd. “When they asked me to curate a show,” says Zane, “I naturally thought to try to do a comedy show of sorts.”

John Bell’s Devil Puppet testifies to Zane’s un-premeditated decision to turn the exhibit into an all-guy show, and thankfully, the closest to popped-collar frat boy “Pull My Finger” gets. Even though it’s supposed to symbolize physical comedy, all I see is a terrifying, fire-engine-red papier mâché head, a triangular, dead-inside-grin, and a pair of shifty eyeballs that make the imp look as though he’s trying not to gawk at cleave. Unsuccessfully. He’s totally staring at your boobs. Ladies note: wear a tank top to the gallery at your own risk.

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