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A peculiar thing about the Teutonic is that, for them, the line between light and dark is thin to the point of disintegration. I’m reminded of this delightful duality every time I recall a freshman-year German professor, dressed in red jeans and purple socks, cheerfully endorsing fatalism. So it’s somehow perfect that the Goethe-Institut’s latest exhibition, “Lichtbogen/Arc d’Light,” should include not only Nicola Stäglich’s brightly brushstroked plexiglass but also Wulf Kirschner’s lumbering steel sculptures. Stäglich’s color-wash stripes allow light to pass through, creating additional dimensions on the wall behind and assaulting the viewer with luminosity. But Kirschner applies stripes of melted metal to arc-welded forms, allowing the reflected surrounding light to determine the piece’s texture; the technique reveals endless hidden glimmers that depend on the viewer’s perspective—and a heart of darkness. The exhibition is on view from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, to Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2007, at the Goethe-Institut, 812 7th St. NW. (202) 289-1200. (Anne Marson)