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If there’s one thing A Beautiful Mind taught us, it’s that there’s a fine line between scientific fascination and obsession. Marc Roman’s 24-piece exhibit “Veritas Obscura” aims to present “a timeline depicting the century of the electron,” and it’s hard to avoid experiencing his installation without recalling the room in the movie that schizophrenic mathematician John Nash papered with news clippings and string. Roman uses an unrelenting black-and-white palette and a painstakingly dense freehand style suggestive of Saul Steinberg. The exhibit straddles the line between fact and whimsy by Roman’s decision to leaven his references to robotics, satellites, and particle accelerators with mentions of Area 51, UFOs, and space aliens. His bits of images, words, and symbols look scientific to the layman, but their true meaning will likely be sussed out only by physics geeks, or by those who use the exhibition as inspiration to spend an afternoon Googling unfamiliar catchphrases. The idea of offering visitors a 24-part lesson in the history of the electron is inspired, but the finished product remains “obscura,” indeed.
THE EXHIBITION IS ON VIEW NOON TO 6 P.M. TUESDAY TO SATURDAY TO JUNE 19 AT FLASHPOINT, 916 G ST. NW. FREE. (202) 315-1305.