There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Barbara Klemm, one of Germany’s leading news photographers, may not be a household name for Americans, but she’s getting double exposure in D.C. right now. Klemm’s work is featured in both a hefty retrospective of her photojournalism at the Goethe-Institut and a more limited selection of portraits and intimate work at the Leica Store. Surprisingly, Klemm’s depictions of diplomatic parleys and back-room politicking at Goethe are more compelling than Leica’s portraits of artists and other figures, like Claudia Schiffer (pictured). A handful of her subjects are well known in arts and letters (Louise Bourgeois, Nadine Gordimer, Joseph Beuys); of these, the best is a glum Andy Warhol. Overall, though, Klemm’s most evocative image at the Leica Store is one of a figure dashing through a portal in a graffiti-covered section of the Berlin Wall. On first glance, the image seems like a perfect allegory—a stand-in for the newly reunified country shown rushing headlong into freedom. In reality, the photograph predates the fall of the wall, depicting the most humdrum of authoritarian moments: a border guard going off shift. Klemm’s photograph is a fleeting tableau with the power to confound. The exhibition is on view Saturdays to Wednesdays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursdays and Fridays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Leica Store, 977 F St. NW. Free. (202) 787-5900. leicastoredc.com.