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TO MARCH 5
Much has been made about the fact that “Media/Metaphor”the Corcoran’s 46th biennial expositionis the first to incorporate photography, video, and new media. But, as in any experiment, some efforts prove more successful than others. The 15-artist showhoused in impressively transformed, starkly lit spacesopens strikingly with Loop (pictured), a 360-degree sound-and-light installation by Jennifer Steinkamp and Jimmy Johnson that brings to mind the memorable, neon-lit moving walkway that shuttles passengers between terminals at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. Unlike Loop, which can be enjoyed on its own terms, many of the other video installationsincluding those by Gary Hill, Y. David Chung, Michal Rovner, Shimon Attie, and Victor Burginoffer conceptual sparks but fall short of overall brilliance. In a more traditional vein, Nan Goldin’s photographswith their explicit sexualitycontinue to shock, but the biennial’s standouts are Ben Sakoguchi and Chuck Close. Sakoguchi’s series of postcard-style paintings of Japanese-American internment camps finds the perfect blend of art and kitsch, style and substance, irony and outrage. Close, best known for his large-scale photorealistic portraits, offers a series of new daguerreotypes, the mirrored images that gave birth to photography in the 1830s. His subject matterdisembodied nude torsos and portraits of his artist friendsis less impressive than his fresh reinvention of a marvelous, and long-dead, technique. So much for new media. On view from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday-Sunday, and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, to Monday, March 5 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW. $5. (202) 639-1700. (Louis Jacobson)