City Paper is not for tourists
The title of this four-artist show at Flashpoint—“Old Fashioned New Media”—pretty much says it all. Andy Holtin has constructed a pair of security cameras and mounted them on a wall facing each other; he then anthropomorphizes them by making them dance to Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is.” The other three artists are less cheeky. Christine Buckton Tillman offers an inspired premise—using classroom overhead projectors to beam the shadows of found objects on the gallery’s walls—but fails to harness the full effect by using mostly opaque items rather than translucent ones. Jamie O’Shea went into the wilderness to construct a telegraph using only materials that would have been available during the Stone Age; the effort seems needlessly complicated, but it’s undeniably cool to see a device made with such materials as wood and clay plugged into a USB port, successfully tapping out a stream of Morse code. Perhaps the most striking comes from Chandi Kelley, who offers visitors a choice of six handheld photographic viewers. Her subject matter is mundane—a fire hydrant, a waterfall-themed window display—but these images are elevated by the artist’s use of convincing 3-D stereoscopy. Of all the old-fashioned media resurrected in this exhibit, none is more resonant than Kelley’s breathtaking stereographs, a technique that dates from the mid-1800s, but seems no less effective in our Avatar age.
The exhibit is on view noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday to June 11 at Flashpoint, 916 G St. NW. Free. (202) 315-1305.