City Paper is not for tourists
During FotoWeek, seemingly mismatched exhibitions pop up regularly at local galleries, which explains why both Icelandic landscapes and photos of demolition derbies are on display at Hillyer Art Space this month. The images of Iceland are infinitely quieter and more meditative, of course. Elena Sheehan offers the most naturalistic take, most notably in a series of images of icebergs that exude a truly eerie, bluish hue. Svavar Jonatansson, meanwhile, documents a 900-mile ring road that circumscribes the island, a project that’s thematically and visually similar to Paul Graham’s U.K. survey, “A1-The Great North Road.” Jonatansson’s landscapes are poetically desolate, ranging from snowy tableaux to grass in various shades of green; one only wishes they could be hung with musical accompaniment, as two video compilations produced by the artist have been. But the collection’s most expressive images are also the most melancholy: Katrín Elvarsdóttir’s photographs of run-down RVs in nature and Friðgeir Helgason’s bits of forlorn detritus amid sprawling landscapes, from soccer goals to playground slides (shown). Traces of humanity, evidently, prove more interesting than pure nature. The exhibition is on view Mondays and Saturdays noon to 5 p.m. and Tuesdays through Fridays noon to 6 p.m. to Nov. 26 at Hillyer Art Space, 9 Hillyer Court NW. Free. (202) 338-0325. hillyerartspace.com.