Part of Enchant This
"Smoke Break" by Nathaniel Tetsuro Paolinelli

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Enchant This at Eckington Hall

New Mexico is almost 2,000 miles away from D.C., but a pair of Albuquerque-based photographers are showing their work here in Enchant This, a joint exhibit at Northeast pop-up gallery, Eckington Hall. The exhibit stems from a cross-country road trip that curator David Ross, a Silver Spring native, took in October 2020 for an unfinished documentary project. Albuquerque’s diversity made a special impression on Ross; New Mexico is “a state that many only know through Breaking Bad,” he tells City Paper. Ross worked with two photographers, Nathaniel Tetsuro Paolinelli and Gabriela Campos, to bring some of New Mexico to D.C. The two photographers have produced remarkably similar oeuvres, documenting the state’s mix of indigenous, Mexican, and European heritages. Using both color and black and white, the two artists winningly document such exuberant subjects as carnivals, rodeos, and outdoor religious and cultural festivals. Many of the images were taken at gatherings for “lowrider” cars, which, “contrary to their depiction in TV and movies, are family affairs,” Ross says. “People bring their kids out. Photography is encouraged. Streets are shut down.” Paolinelli’s most striking image features a Native American dancer in dramatic black and white, amid a shower of sparks, smoke, and dirt. Campos, for her part, offers a series of impressive desert landscapes, including a collapsed barn amid the tumbleweed. Perhaps the most cheerful image is Campos’ photograph of a teenage boy sitting on a bench looking up into the rain, smiling. Through April 3 at Eckington Hall, 1611 Eckington Place, Suite 170, NE. Free.