City Paper is not for tourists
Editor’s note: WNAN are brought to you by the City List, D.C.’s arts information nexus. Late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, look for a handful of reviews focusing on DC’s must-see exhibits.
Carl Amt @ Gallery Plan B: Part of the Brushfire exhibit, Amt’s paintings incorporate leering comic images and stenciled texts that reflect—sometimes indirectly, more often candidly—post-9/11 culture. In keeping with the theme of the exhibit, Amt strips away the rhetorical finesse and ideological distortions that pervade national discussions of ethnic identity, patriotism, and security, and replaces them with visceral and alarming testimonies to a new consciousness of fear. The piece Homeland Security depicts a white two-story home on a red background; flames burst from the windows of the second story, yet a blue stencil atop the image reads, “Stay Home.” The canvas for Patriotic Paranoia is divided into four squares, containing four multi-colored skulls, each staring with suspicion and fear into the adjacent boxes. Fun for the Entire Family, which depicts a human silhouette target framed by the stencil “Culture of Life,” is the only piece in the series that feels preachy and—as it’s likely to remind the average viewer of the District’s recent gun control battle(s)—a little tiresome. Gallery Plan B is located @ 1530 14th St. NW. (202) 234-2711. Wed.-Sat., noon-7 p.m.; Sun., 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Brushfire closes Oct. 5.
Georgiana Warner @ Zone Zero: Warner’s collection of photographs, Boyhood, captures the zeitgeist of male adolescence better than any male-authored coming of age narrative. Absent is the awkward narrating voice, attempting to recreate a distant personal epoch from which the man-child writer is decades removed. Instead, Boyhood shows just the opposite: the child-man, seen through the camera lens of a woman. Warner’s approach is tender yet dark—we see sleepy boys, violent boys, and sexually curious boys—but never critical. Catching her subjects unaware foreshadows the clueless and unintentionally destructive adults into which many of her charmers will no doubt grow, while simultaneosly absolving them of the heavy expectations that have settled so early on their slight shoulders. Zone Zero is located @ 1000 Wisconsin Ave., on the corner of K St. (202) 333-4450. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat., noon-5 p.m. Boyhood closes Oct. 11.