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TO APRIL 23
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“Domestic Policy,” an invitational exhibition tied to a recent Washington conference of the Southern Graphics Council, includes work from more than 30 far-flung printmakers, including silk-screens, woodcuts, engravings, and lithographs. (Georgia Deal’s Blueprint: Code Red is pictured.) If the idea was for each piece to communicate a clear and easily understood political message, as the title seems to suggest, then a majority of the works fall short—hobbled, more than anything else, by resolutely obscure imagery. Witness Allyson Mellberg and Jeremy Taylor’s wordless silk-screen Big Black, featuring a mustachioed, effeminate-looking man holding a black cloud over the head of a blue goose, all occurring within a ring of miniature Washington Monuments. Or Kate Leavitt’s Bitter Batter, which stars a woman in a fancy dress, spread-legged and seemingly about to vomit into a bowl in her lap, surrounded by a border that includes outlines of a trio of sheep. By comparison, Bill Fisher’s Yard Sign Project at least makes its worldview transparent, offering four anti–President Bush sentiments (among them are “Support the Troops” superimposed over a negative of flag-draped coffins and “Reelect George W. Bush Your Savior”); all are ready to download from the Web location provided. Emily Puthoff’s Paper Anniversary is simple but clever, reproducing a page of the New York Post from about one year ago (the paper anniversary—get it?) that covered the dispute over same-sex marriages granted in New Paltz, N.Y. The show’s standout, though, is Marital Bliss @ 30, by KAKE—Ann Kalmbach and Tana Kellner. It features a roughly drawn outline of two women scuffling with each other; each of their bodies is filled in with a rambling dialogue about the benefits and drawbacks of domestic partnership, Social Security reform, abortion rights, and arts funding. Finally, a piece of domestic policy that the layman can understand. The show is on view from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, to Saturday, April 23, at District Fine Arts, 1726 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Free. (202) 328-9100. (Louis Jacobson)