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If you wander into the National Gallery of Art’s East Building gallery full of conceptual sculpture, you’ll likely stop short when you see Carl Andre’s two works, “64 Copper Square” and “64 Steel Square.” They’re exactly what it says on the tin: two groups of 64 metal squares laid out on the floor in large 8×8 grids, one copper, one steel. Viewers who aren’t familiar with Andre will usually try walking around them to avoid touching the art. But those who know him will keep walking—straight onto the tiles.
Andre is an American minimalist whose radical conceptual work often employs grids. But the most radical part of the “64 Squares” is how they invite the viewer to interact with them. Text on the floor tells visitors they’re welcome to walk on the tiles, but many are initially hesitant. “I’m so tempted,” said one on Sunday. “You can walk on those!” the guard replied—so he did. “Amazing. I’ve never experienced this before,” he said. The tiles aren’t secured to the floor, so they shift slightly when feet cross them, creating crooked lines and gaps in the grid. They disrupt the gallery by asking for interaction and by reflecting the people who have walked on them.
But one last thing—when we talk about Andre, we should also mention his wife, Ana Mendieta. She was an early ecofeminist artist whose work wasn’t as spare, silent, and conceptual as his is; it’s wilder and more insistent on its own presence. The National Gallery has three works from her Silueta series, where she photographed the forceful imprints of her female body in nature, though none are on view. After Mendieta died suspiciously in 1985, Andre was charged with her death and acquitted at a judge-only trial. His work endures, but her output was cut short. That history’s not in the gallery text, but it’s in the room with those squares. It also disrupts their perfect grids. —Emma Sarappo
Bell WitchDoom metal is often associated with long tracks, ones that regularly break five and six minutes. Does this characteristic come from ambition—hoping to create epic, complex works—or (more simply) is it just easier to never end a song? Most likely, it’s a bit of both. Seattle ambient doom metal band Bell Witch’s 2017 album Mirror Reaper—which is really just one track, “Mirror Reaper”—clocks in at 83 minutes, meaning that the music doesn’t merely approach the cinematic—it actually plays as long as a feature-length film. Read more >>> Bell Witch perform at 8 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $30. (202) 265-0930. 930.com. (Matt Siblo)
Join Limestone of Lost Legacies as they unveil a new mural to honors five teens who were shot and killed in the last two years. 5 p.m. at The Fridge, 516 8th St. SE. Free.
Cuban comedian Joey ‘Coco’ Diaz brings his stand-up to D.C. 8 p.m. at The Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. $35.
Brightest Young Thingsis throwing an after-hours Mission Impossible-themed party at—where else?—the Spy Museum. 8:30 p.m. at the International Spy Museum, 700 L’Enfant Plaza SW. $65–$80.
My Iran: Six Women PhotographersThe images presented in My Iran: Six Women Photographers range from documentary snapshots of post-Islamic Revolution protests to digitally altered family photo albums and anachronistic portraits that testify to the tension between tradition and modernity experienced by many young Iranians. Featuring works by Hengameh Golestan, Newsha Tavakolian, Malekeh Nayiny, Shadi Ghadirian, Mitra Tabrizian, and Gohar Dashti, the show uses Iran’s 1979 Revolution as a starting point, tracing the trajectory of the conflict before revealing how its aftershocks still resonate today. Read more >>> The exhibition is on view to Feb. 9, 2020 at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Ave. SW. Free. (202) 633-1000. freersackler.si.edu. (Meilan Solly)
Looking for affordable art to put on your walls? Don’t miss the Nava poster pop-up. 11 a.m. at The Line Hotel, 1770 Euclid St. NW. Free.
Join singer-songwriter Rachel Ann Morgan for a late night concert in the The Hamilton’s loft. 10:30 p.m. at The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Free.
Josh Gondelman, a senior writer on Desus & Mero, is an accomplished comedian sure to tickle your funny bone. 8 p.m. at AMP by Strathmore, 11810 Grand Park Ave., North Bethesda. $14–$24.
Dear Evan HansenFor a story centered on mental health issues, teen suicide, and a spiraling series of lies, Dear Evan Hansen is surprisingly heartwarming. The musical’s premise—a depressed high school senior pretends he was secretly best friends with a peer who recently committed suicide—is wholly original, and its catchy yet cuttingly incisive score, composed by songwriting duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, earned the production one of its six total Tony Awards. Read more >>> The show runs to Sept. 8 at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater, 2700 F St. NW. $79–$175. (202) 467-4600. kennedy-center.org. (Meilan Solly)
Smithsonian Folklife is hosting a day-long event in Mt. Pleasant that highlights its history of using music for social change. 12 p.m. at Lost Origins Gallery, 3110 Mt. Pleasant St. NW. Free.
Yes, Ringo Starr is mostly responsible for “Octopus’ Garden.” But if you can find it in your heart to forgive him for that, he’s putting on a great show with his All-Starr Band—and playing Beatles hits. 8 p.m. at the Wolf Trap Filene Center, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. $45–$85.
If you hate eating animals or just really love eating plants, check out DC VegFest and its cooking demos, vegan food, and speakers. 11:20 a.m. at Nationals Park, 1500 South Capitol St. SE. Free.
ItToy boats float. So do dead children. “You’ll float too!” screams a haunted version of 6-year-old Georgie Denbrough in Andy Muschietti’s film sensation It, based on Stephen King’s classic novel. With only a month until the release of the film’s second installment, It Chapter Two, the 2017 horror hit returns to the big screen at the Alamo Drafthouse to knock the yellow raincoats off audiences once again. After the mysterious disappearance of Georgie the previous summer, seven young outcasts known as “The Losers’ Club” must conquer their fears—both metaphorically and quite literally—to put an end to a supernatural being’s reign of terror. Read more >>> The film screens at 7 p.m. at The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 20575 Easthampton Plaza, Ashburn. $10. (571) 293-6808. drafthouse.com/northern-virginia. (Ayomi Wolff)
Join the Muslim American Leadership Alliance and the Middle East Insititute for a cultural exchange event—complete with food, dialogue, and demonstrations—about how different Muslim communities celebrate Eid al-Adha. 6 p.m. at the Middle East Institute, 1763 N St. NW. Free.
It’s been 50 years since the “Summer of ’69” (though Canadian rocker Bryan Adams was 10 then, and his hit song came out in 1984—maybe he was referencing something else). Catch Adams on tour with Billy Idol. 8 p.m. at Jiffy Lube Live, 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow. $35–$256.
Van Hunt is on a 15th anniversary tour to celebrate his debut album and the single that made his name, “Dust.” 8 p.m. at City Winery, 1350 Okie St. NE. $20–$28.
Alice CooperAlice Cooper is the founder of horror-core as we know it, the original grandmaster of shock rock. The Detroit-born hard rocker and his original band were signed by Frank Zappa in 1969 Los Angeles, and in the ’70s Cooper became a pop culture icon. More recently, Cooper has collaborated with members of Deep Purple and ZZ Top and played King Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar. He also hosts the Nights With Alice Cooper radio show, where he plays his favorite tracks from the ’70s and ’80s between interviews with artists like Ringo Starr and David Gilmour. Read more >>> Alice Cooper performs at 7 p.m. at Jiffy Lube Live, 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow. $29.50–$250. (703) 754-6400. livenation.com. (Will Lennon)
Femme Schmidt opens for Bryan Ferry, who will play songs from Roxy Music‘s album Avalon. 8 p.m. at The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. $75–$250.
Viner-turned-pop-artist Shawn Mendes is a bona fide star now—he’s performing with Alessia Cara on a cross-country tour. 7:30 p.m. at Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW. $76.65–$138.49.
Author Richard Armstrong will discuss his mob caper novel The Don Con. 6:30 p.m. at Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe, 1517 Connecticut Avenue NW. Free.
SantanaAlas: After countless snafus affecting permits, ticketing, venue, and line-up, the cursed Woodstock 50—which almost ended up being a free show at Merriweather Post Pavilion—has officially been canceled. While the fourth go-round of the legendary festival is a no-go, you can still celebrate the spirit of ’69 with one of the original concert’s most important acts: Santana. The Latin rock pioneers broke through in a big way back at Bethel; they hadn’t yet released a debut album, which was fortuitously scheduled for just two weeks after their performance. Read more >>> Santana perform at 7 p.m. at Jiffy Lube Live, 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow. $35.25–$221. (703) 754-6400. livenation.com. (Chris Kelly)
British drum ‘n’ base producer DJ Fabio curates a night of dancing. 10 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. $10–$20.
Mabel went from SoundCloud singer to breakthrough act—she’s toured with Harry Styles—in just a few years. 8:30 p.m. at Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW. $16–$30.
Brazil’s hottest indie pop act, LaBaq, brings her electric guitar to D.C. on the heels of her successful debut album, voa. 7:30 p.m. at Bossa Bistro, 2463 18th St. NW. $10–$20.
Jurassic ParkGod creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates … movie screening of Jurassic Park. The Library of Congress, which added the movie to its National Film Registry last year, is showing Steven Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster at its summertime movies on the lawn series. The classic film toys with the question: Can you play God and bring back life? But there’s no ambiguity about Spielberg’s answer. Read more >>> The film screens at 8:30 p.m. on the north lawn of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. SE. Free. (202) 707-5000. loc.gov. (Chelsea Cirruzzo)
The Jonas Brothers are back with a vengeance. Recreate childhood memories by seeing their Happiness Begins tour (only this time, you’re hopefully old enough to buy your own tickets). 7:30 p.m. at Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW. $95–$1,345.
Bestselling author Téa Obreht, whose debut The Tiger’s Wife took the literary world by storm, will discuss her new novel Inland. 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free.
The Murphy Beds, an Irish music duo, will perform folk music with exciting string arrangements. 12 p.m. at the Thomas Jefferson Building’s Whittall Pavilion, 10 1st St. SE. Free.
NEWS & REVIEWS YOU CAN USE
Music: Wondering why a bunch of DMV rappers are featured on this British krautrock remix? Here’s the scoop.
Books: Here are the titles from local authors you need to read in the coming months.
Museums: Everyday Luxury shows off a slice of the Smithsonian’s National Quilt Collection.
Theater: Theatre Prometheus highlights the life of English author and playright Aphra Behn.
Film: Despite its stars’ best efforts, The Kitchen drags a bit.
OFFICE OF FUTURE PLANNING
Tickets are on sale now for Big Freedia at 9:30 Club on Oct. 29. 7 p.m. at 815 V St. NW. $25.
Tickets are on sale now for The Maine at 9:30 Club on Nov. 1. 8 p.m. at 815 V St. NW. $25.
Tickets go on sale at noon today for Jonathan Van Ness at Sixth & I on Sept. 26. 7:30 p.m. at 600 I St. NW. $45.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday for Natasha Bedingfield at the Lincoln Theatre on Oct. 14. 8 p.m. at 1215 U St. NW. $35–$50.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday for Rick Ross at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Oct. 7. 8 p.m. at 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Ticket prices to be released at time of sale.