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Making art of Lindsay Lohan

Admit it. When you heard there was a 98-second video of Lindsay Lohan on the Internet, your first thought was: sex tape.

But no! It's an art piece by the painter-turned-filmmaker Richard Phillips that will be showing on a giant JumboTron floating down the Grand Canal in Venice from Wednesday through Sunday. The stunt coincides with, but is not officially part of, the illustrious Venice Biennale art exhibition.

Titled simply "Lindsay Lohan," it looks something like a perfume commercial, with Lohan confronting a turbulent sea and emerging dripping wet from an infinity pool. Sunning herself on the deck, she looks relaxed, although her bikini is clearly under great strain. Dramatic, almost portentuous rock music plays throughout.

"Lindsay Lohan" borrows from the experimental French cinema of the 1960s, a favorite source of inspiration for perfume commercials over the decades. Just as the Calvin Klein Obsession ads in the 1980s directly mimicked Alain Resnais' "Last Year at Marienbad," and Chanel's Egoiste ads in the '90s went for a general Nouvelle Vague look, so "Lindsay Lohan" imitates Jean-Luc Godard's "Contempt," in which a buxom Brigitte Bardot did the swimming and sunning.

Phillips explains the film this way in a news release:

"Lindsay has an incredible emotional and physical presence on screen that holds an existential vulnerability, while harnessing the power of the transcendental — the moment in transition. She is able to connect with us past all of our memory and projection, expressing our own inner eminence."

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