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Arts Post
Posted at 05:31 PM ET, 06/13/2012

Lindsay Lohan at Art Basel — and other celebrities who have starred in video art

Lindsay Lohan’s career has taken (yet another) interesting turn — she’s starring in an art film by American painter Richard Phillips at Art Basel, the annual contemporary art fair in Basel, Switzerland. Lohan stars as a surfer in “First Point,” which debuts there Monday night. Her performance has received a mixed critical reaction, with Daily Beast critic Blake Gopnik saying the film relies too heavily upon Lohan’s troubled celebrity status.

“Lohan is so clearly Marilyn-ish in this piece, that there's a sense of her deliberately inhabiting the role of star-crossed blonde, so as to take control of it. And after Warhol, can any artist's encounter with a starlet be read as entirely straight?” wrote Gopnik in the Daily Beast.

This isn’t the first time that Lohan has acted in one of Phillips’ videos — he made a short video portrait of her last year. The actress is the most recent example of a celebrity collaborating with an artist on film, but the tradition dates back (at least) to Andy Warhol’s “Screen tests.” Here are a few other actors and actresses who have worked with visual artists. How do you think Lohan’s turn compares to theirs? Share your opinion in the comments.

Tilda Swinton. Though the enigmatic actress recently appeared on a magzazine cover dressed as a drag queen, she was bare-faced and plain in Doug Aitken’s Song 1, which was projected on the exterior of the Hirshhorn Museum last month. Swinton lip-synched along to one of the video’s dozens of covers of the Flamingos’ song “I Only Have Eyes for You,” appearing at 3:04 in the video below. You can read more about Song 1 here.

Ursula Andress. The former Bond girl who played Honey Ryder appears in Matthew Barney’s “Cremaster Cycle,” a film series that takes sexual development as its theme (don’t worry, this clip is safe for work). Andress plays the Queen of Chain, a performer in a tragic opera.

Lady Gaga. Francesco Vezzoli’s art frequently includes an element of celebrity spectacle — he’s embroidered with Veruschka, featured Eva Mendes in a tribute to Fellini and enlisted Cate Blanchett and Natalie Portman to appear in his performances. He created a fake trailer for a Gore Vidal film, “Caligula,” in which he and Courtney Love shared the eponymous role. In 2009, he staged a performance by Lady Gaga — wearing a hat created by Frank Gehry. — with the Bolshoi Ballet for the Museum of Contemporary Art in L.A.

David Bowie. Multimedia artist Tony Oursler makes otherworldly videos that are projected onto a multiplicity of shapes and surfaces to create a sort of funhouse of talking sculpture. In “Face to Face,” a green- and red-faced David Bowie says “Everything you know is a lie.” He appears at 1:29 in the video below.

James Franco. The multifaceted actor’s inclusion in this list is arguable — instead of appearing in someone else’s video art, Franco turned his appearance on “General Hospital” into its own kind of performance art. As he wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “I disrupted the audience's suspension of disbelief, because no matter how far I got into the character, I was going to be perceived as something that doesn't belong to the incredibly stylized world of soap operas.”

By  |  05:31 PM ET, 06/13/2012

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