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art that moves merchandise

May 14, 2000|MARY MELTON

They could have hung a nice David Hockney. Maybe an Ed Ruscha. But when the Italian clothier Costume National recently held an opening-night party for its Melrose Avenue store, owners Ennio and Carlo Capasa wanted art with a little more movement. So they popped a museum-quality video into the VCR.

The one-night-only video installation, entitled "Miko No Inori," is the work of much-toasted Japanese multimedia artist Mariko Mori. Sotheby's, which co-hosted the event, had enlisted New York art dealer Jeffrey Deitch to find an appropriate piece from his collection.

"Mariko was perfect," says Deitch, though it's not entirely clear why. The piece features Mori, a former model, as she moves through the Kansai International Airport. "She's like a cyber shaman," says Deitch. "She's fondling a crystal ball and has these mirror eyes that were specially made contact lenses."

Architect Ron Radziner, whose firm Marmol + Radziner designed Costume National, says he was "a little fearful" that the video would detract from the interiors--to say nothing of the clothes on display. But people liked the video so much, he says, that there was a lot of discussion about leaving something like it in the store.

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