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TO SATURDAY

Architecture is often called frozen music, and some of it qualifies more as frozen Muzak: familiar, comfortable, and, according to a 1997 collection of essays called Architecture of the Everyday, beautiful. One piece praises the sets of TV sitcoms as common spaces for millions of people, perfect safe zones for those whose real homes are a little too eventful. Accompanying this essay are architectural plans, rendered with blueprint-like precision, for the Leave It to Beaver house. Those plans are the work of Mark Bennett (whose Home of: David + Virginia Stratton, San Diego, CA is pictured), a Los Angeles-based artist and postal worker who made his name diagramming the fictional homes of Hollywood, right down to the last toilet. For Bennett, bland sitcom worlds were an escape from an unhappy childhood; he has said that as a sufferer of obsessive-compulsive disorder, the process of documenting sitcom sets was therapy. Sounds more like slow torture: In the days before video, Bennett would have to watch the Beev every day to catch that one available glimpse of the laundry room—and if he missed a detail, he would have to wait through another cycle of syndication. And when rooms didn’t make an appearance at all, Bennett filled in the blanks with imaginary plans. Now the artist has upped the psychological ante, turning his scrutinizing eye to movie sets such as the Clutter farmhouse, a re-creation of the site of the grisly murders depicted in the 1967 film version of In Cold Blood, and the Bates Motel of Psycho fame. But the paper versions are generally stripped of terror: In the cabins at the Bates Motel, there’s no Norman, and every shower looks just like any other. “At the Picture Show” is on view from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday to Saturday to Saturday, May 10, at Conner Contemporary Art, 1730 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 588-8750. (David Morton)