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Jean-Paul Sartre famously wrote that “hell is other people.” But hell may actually be having to work in an office with décor designed by Lisa Dillin. The Baltimore-based Dillin creates mixed-media works that seem to toy with the mismatch between what designers think people want and what they actually want. The most benign are pieces with additions that are merely unnecessary, such as the cube-shaped side tables that have four supernumerary legs. More slyly sinister are the pieces that are thoroughly undermined by infuriating features. A laminate-covered shelf is overwhelmed by a blinding, lily-pad green neon tube attached underneath; a superficially attractive matrix of wall-mounted shelving irks by leaving virtually no space to actually place anything inside; and a perfectly nice mirror is obscured by a trompe l’oeil rendering of venetian blinds. In one monumental-sized work, Dillin carves a series of splotchy holes into vertical blinds and lets a sickly yellow fluorescent glow emanate from them. The depressing title says it all: “Natural Lighting Emulator II.”
The exhibition is on view noon to 6 p.n. Tuesday to Saturday to June 2 at Flashpoint DC, 916 G St NW.