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MAY 21-JUNE 20
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The big irony about Stanislas Pierson’s photographs is that he snaps them off quickly yet dawdles forever in the darkroom printing them. Pierson can easily shoot 20 rolls of film in an afternoon, but he’ll often spend three days making just one print. The reason for the delay is Pierson’s technique, which produces unusual images that look something like the solarized photographs that Man Ray used to make—blank whites and charcoal blacks mixed together in weird, negativelike combinations. Pierson does it by creating both positives and negatives from his original 35 mm image; he then sandwiches them together and prints them. It’s an old procedure, but Pierson improves on it by achieving ranges of grays unattained by previous practitioners. Pierson, who divides his time equally between Washington and his darkroom in the French Alps, will unveil his first one-man show this week. Titled “Transes Figurees,” it includes images of actors and actresses in the local drama troupe Vashti, which Pierson shot over the course of four years. The show’s title, Pierson explains, is a bilingual pun: In French, it means “trances embodied,” which pretty much describes his models; in English, it suggests the word “transfigure,” which is, in a way, what Pierson is doing to the photographic medium. On view 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday to Friday, noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday from Friday, May 21, to Sunday, June 20, at Rivaga Art & Framing, 1612 U St. NW, Suite 102. Free. (202) 986-2564. (Lou Jacobson)