Ovation applauds artists

Network's two week special kicks off Aug 16

Ovation TV, the cable network for culture vultures, has engineered a two-week programming stunt centered on artists who are so offbeat they brush up against the boundaries of what defines art.

The primetime stunt, put together by Ovation’s senior veep of programming Kris Slava , kicks off Aug. 12 with an original hourlong special called “Art or Not?,” which talks about how a wide range of visual art fits into the Western art canon.

“Art or Not?” is also the umbrella title of 25 more programs devoted to the thesis that art is whatever you can get away with. The 90-minute world premiere, “Belly Talkers,” on Aug. 16 deals with the art of ventriloquism.

Another special, “Kombat Opera Presents: Spouse Change, and The Applicants,” presents operatic parodies of the TV series “Wife Swap” and “The Apprentice,” written by Stewart Lee, who co-authored “Jerry Springer: The Opera.” “Kombat Opera” is a U.S. premiere, as is “Beware Live Art” and “The Lowdown on Lowbrow.”

Ovation will make the various programs interactive, allowing viewers to put in their two cents by voting on the network’s Web site.

With the recent signing of DirecTV, the 10-year-old Ovation reaches a total of 15 million subscribers.

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