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to aug. 19
The French must have forgotten how to paint half a century ago. Paris apparently hasn’t given too much thought to rectifying the situation over the past few decades, however, content instead to rear a new generation of installation artists to succeed the aging avant-garde. “Non Sans Emoi (As I Lay Myself…),” the first solo show by French artist Axelle Rioult in the United States, is an exhibition of blurry photographic self-portraits, closely cropped video of jellyfish, and bande velpo (long rolls of gauze). It’s made all the more typically European by scores of apples piled high and video projected onto the surface of a large milk bath—both of which contribute to a sickly sweet smell that hangs in the air and promises to sour considerably by mid-August. This is the second Flashpoint show curated by Xavier Courouble; his 2004 “Ho[use] Ho[me]” group show also featured an element that transformed during the show (house flies, attracted to the miniature plates of sugar placed inside a doll’s house, took up residence within the installation). Rioult’s meditative Video I (Blanc), which shows moving bedsheets projected on a mattress with linens, makes a solid return appearance in “Non Sans.” Unfortunately, so do Courouble’s questionable installation practices, such as the decision to hang Rioult’s Les Passages (pictured), a provocative mylar print of the artist’s prone head covered with the lining of a cow’s stomach, directly in the entrance of the gallery. “Non Sans Emoi (As I Lay Myself…)” is on view noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, to Saturday, Aug. 19, at Flashpoint, 916 G St. NW. Free. (202) 315-1310. (Kriston Capps)