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TO APRIL 15
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Doug Hall takes fascinating vacation photos. His current show at Numark, “Some Places,” offers large, colorful digital prints of breathtaking natural vistas and imposing architecture. But the experiences depicted aren’t his own: In his 65-inch-by-98-inch diptych, Glacier Point, Yosemite, the subject seems to be as much the adults posing and the kids horsing around in the foreground as it is the distant expanse of furrowed arid rocks. None of the tourists seem as aware of the far-off landmark as they are of their own actions—posing for cameras and people-watching. And the arrangement of figures looks too balanced, eerily choreographed. The shadows trailing after these figures point in different directions, indicating what Hall typically does: He digitally combines elements from exposures taken at different times of day to arrive at his compositions. Other pictures here involve different trickery: In Coney Island, New York, the same swimmer appears twice in the right-hand corner; in Union Station, Los Angeles (pictured), the right side of the building is a mirror reflection of the left, and light streams in equally, at opposing angles, through sets of windows that face each other. A few wandering tourists have been pasted in; their crystal-clear reflections in the floor appear to be invented. Hall denies both the authenticity of the photographic image and the way that a tourist’s experience of places is typically stage-managed; he points to how physical barriers and the rituals of tourism prevent people from connecting. His images feel distant and formalized—like the places they examine. The exhibition is on view from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, to Saturday, April 15, at the Numark Gallery, 625-27 E St. NW. Free. (202) 628-3810. (Jeffry Cudlin)