Deen, Vahn Featured in Franco's 'Rebel' Exhibit - UPDATE

LOS ANGELES—James Deen portrays his Hollywood namesake, alongside fellow X-rated performer Heather Vahn as Natalie Wood, in a video installation to be displayed as part of James Franco's upcoming "Rebel" exhibition at JF Chen gallery, being presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).

The video, directed by renowned artist Paul McCarthy and son Damon McCarthy, takes place at Bungalow Two of the Chateau Marmont hotel, and depicts incidents that were rumored to have occurred during the filming of the real James Dean's best known picture, Rebel Without a Cause—including some explicitly reenacted sexual rollicking between Dean and Wood.

"They shot a hardcore scene, but they shot it very music video-y," Deen told AVN. "I think what they're trying to do is shocking art."

What they may or may not be trying to do is ... well, hardly clarified at all by the following description from Paul McCarthy's own press release about the work (note that Franco and actress Elyse Poppers play Dean and Wood in all but the sex portion): "The characters in the piece are ultimately iconic, representing more than a singularity. Sex doubles for James Dean James Franco Natalie Wood Elyse Poppers, skilled professionals. ... They do what they do best. They play a role. They provide a service. These actions are played out, reinvented, extended all in the attempt to create a house, a theatrical home of drama and trauma."

Right. In any event, the McCarthy piece appears as part of their own larger exhibit at The Box May 11-July 7, as well as in the "Rebel" show May 15-June 23, which will also include Rebel Without a Cause-themed contributions by Harmony Korine, Terry Richardson, Douglas Gordon, Ed Ruscha and Aaron Young.

The Box is located at 805 Traction Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90013. JF Chen is located at 941 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038.

UPDATE - Adult director Jimmy Lifestyles appears in the McCarthy video as well, playing the porn-shooting alter ego of Rebel Without a Cause director Nicholas Ray. The video will be on display at an opening reception Friday evening (May 11) from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Box. The event is open to the public.

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