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TO FEB. 26
Quick: If you photographed a setting every couple of seconds and then played the images sequentially, which ones would make a good movie? A restaurant patio or the inside of a frame shop? A papier-mâché artist at work or the installation of a kitchen floor? A barbershop or a photography class? In the most recent photographs by D.C. artist Bruce McKaig, the answers become clear—but they’re mostly unexpected: The restaurant patio is surprisingly static, the barbershop camera was trained too closely on a chair that stayed empty, and that papier-mâché artist takes off his shirt and eats from a tub of yogurt in full view of the camera. The frame shop, by contrast, jostles with activity, the kitchen floor is invaded by wave after wave of intriguing debris, and the photography class offers a professor’s-eye-view of students fidgeting, chuckling, and spacing out. On balance, there is more dead weight than brilliance in McKaig’s offerings—seeing an executive director (pictured) rock in his chair and type on his keyboard is hardly scintillating, and a pianist’s practice session runs too long. Moreover, McKaig’s long-exposure images of his scenes, made using a pinhole camera, are usually washed out and lack the charm of the movies. But his best work—two Siamese fighting fish circling in adjoining bowls, for instance, in a dance of aggression worthy of Muhammad Ali—is undoubtedly absorbing. Through Sunday, Feb. 26, at the District of Columbia Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. (202) 462-7099. (Louis Jacobson)