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If there was any remaining doubt about the enduring influence of The Americans—-the celebrated 1958 book of documentary photography by Robert Frank—-it can be laid to rest by this exhibit, in which a talented group of photojournalists known as Facing Change documented one July 4 in the life of America, specifically, the one that just happened about two months ago. Looking for the bold, reflective lip of a tuba, like the one in Frank’s book? Carlos Javier Ortiz finds a pair of them in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. Craving un-self-conscious but dorky patriotism? Andrew Lichtenstein nails it with a bunch of upper-crusties from Greenwich, Conn. Seeking Americans wearing ridiculous, slightly unnerving outfits? Lucian Perkins offers a riot of frilly, antebellum dresses in Easter pastels. How about a body with an inanimate object for a head? Ortiz captures a bench-sitting figure topped by a trio of red, white and blue balloons. First-rate images all, but the most notable of the group break away from the (justly) durable Frank model —-Lichtenstein’s photograph of spectators in a public park, lit by the eerie metallic glow of firework blasts, and Alan Chin’s winning image of a young woman firing water from a hose at a boy, with an expression of sheer delight on both of their faces.
Through Nov. 18 at Carroll Square Gallery, 975 F Street NW. Open during regular business hours. (202) 624-8643.