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TO AUG. 30
Is a 10-day visit long enough for an outsider to grasp the soul of a large city? Doubtful, but it’s apparently enough to assemble a worthwhile portfolio of photographs. Over the past year, a group of American and German cultural organizations sponsored a visit by American photographer Wess Brown to Berlin and a visit by German photographer Gerhard Faller-Walzer to Washington. The result is “InsideOut OutsideIn,” a joint exhibition of black-and-white photographs at the Goethe-Institut. The show’s most stunning works are Brown’s monumental architectural photographs, in which bright, oblong curves possess a swirling velocity (Whirly-World is pictured); one composition even mimics a massive, unblinking eye. Faller-Walzer, on the other hand, is just as interested in seedy corner groceries, Metro riders, scampering squirrels, crumbling post offices, and lunching construction workers as he is in our city’s famous buildings. His subjects may be less dramatic than those of Brown, but Faller-Walzer’s technique is equally striking. He uses a powerful wide-angle lens to create prints in a decidedly horizontal format. The method produces some wild spatial distortions, such as the bending of straight-line storefronts into near-football shapes. Faller-Walzer—an exhibition designer as well as a photographer—has mounted his naked photographs on curved, burnished-metal surfaces using fastidiously arranged magnets, in a decision that further elevates his brief but wise take on America’s capital city. The photographs are on view from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Thursday; and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, to Friday, Aug. 30, at the Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes, 814 7th St. NW. Free. (202) 289-1200. (Louis Jacobson)