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Book Review: 'Spectacles'

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Double entendre, see? The bifocals perched on your nose are visual aids, sure, but also positively aquiver with, ahem, shades of metaphorical meaning. Samuele Mazza, whose fetishy tastes were previously evinced by books on brassieres and shoes, focuses more sedately in Spectacles on eyeglasses. Not the everyday article, mind you, but various artists’ takes. The poor specs are utterly stripped of their dignity: mounted on vegetables à la Mr. Potato Head, perched on glasses (of the cocktail variety), submerged in a tearlike substance, stamped with Andy Warhol’s image, and discussed in a few haughty, lit-crit essays (translated from the Italian). Don’t look here for your next set of frames, but perhaps peering at an outlandish sculpture or two will give you a little perspective on those despised Coke-bottle lenses. B+