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Born To Shock Julie Oakes LSPU Gallery By KYNA O'NEILL

For those interested in alternative art, RCA Visual at the LSPU Gallery in the LSPU Hall on Victoria Street, will be presenting Born To Shock from June 13th to July 2nd 1993.

Born To Shock is a collection of various forms of art by Julie Oakes, a British Columbian artist and includes oil paintings, photographs, sculptures, and videos.

However, the performance piece `Breasts Not Arresting' is the most memorable. `Breasts Not Arresting' is a fashion show featuring breasts of various shapes and sizes for `A Celebration Of Uniqueness' inspired by the court case in Guelph, Ontario where a young woman was convicted of indecent exposure for being topless in public. Oakes presents breasts as something that should not be hidden. The show seems to say that in hiding them, society will only be promoting their huge role in pornography. In the model-by-model commentary by M.C. Ashley Billard, Oakes explored the prejudice associated with women's breasts, or as they were "fondly" referred to as "jugs" and "tits." One model was in need of implants while another needed reduction. Oakes also informed the public of the penalty associated with showing a woman's breasts in public. One model was wearing "6 months in jail" stickers over her nipples while Billard informed everyone of the $2000 fine associated with exposure.

Other examples of Oakes work include the painting `I'm Glad I Knew Him, In The Biblical Sense'. On the surface, one sees a crucified Jesus, naked on the cross, with an erection. Oakes stated that the bible presents Jesus as a man, but never in a sexual nature. This aspect of Him is greatly down played. Her purpose behind this painting was to "bring the spirituality and sexuality of Jesus together" to show men that they shouldn't be ashamed of their bodies. Ms. Oakes' other paintings form various series, for example the `Mexican Collection' or `Trashy Lingerie Series', which spark discussion of taboo issues faced by men and women with the hopes of actually bringing the sexes together.

The video portion of the show included the film version of `Breasts Not Arresting, A Bevy Of Beauties Fashion Extravaganza', to replace the live performance piece (it only ran once), and `Trashy Lingerie' which takes place in a nude cappuccino bar and attempts to tell women not to be ashamed of their figures. Along with the above mentioned pieces, Julie Oakes has on display numerous other paintings and sculptures which are all for sale. Those interested in checking out the exhibition should go soon as there is only a week left before the show closes on July 2nd. You're in for a great show.