The twin exhibitions now on view at Flashpoint don’t limit themselves to appearing in the gallery; they become part of it, toying with the architectural features not just of the exhibition space, but also the facility’s accompanying cubicles, conference rooms, and bathroom areas. In Trace, Nicole Herbert adds a series of supernumerary fixtures to the office in ways that echo the surroundings, such as windows with taped outlines that abstract the view outside, or fake water pipes that go from nowhere to nowhere. The works are hard to locate, even with motion-sensored lights to illuminate them, and their conceptual impact is equally subtle. More successful are the works of Janell Olah (pictured), curated by Amanda Jirón-Murphy. Olah hijacks the building’s air vents and HVAC system with a network of translucent plastic coverings that inflate and deflate depending on how the air is flowing. The appearance of Olah’s works is frustratingly indifferent—the visual vibe of her materials might be described as “IKEA-shower-curtain”—but the notion of giving a star turn to something as fleeting as airflow is clever. Plus, there’s something unexpectedly thrilling about a row of cloud-shaped plastic forms spontaneously inflating in unison whenever the AC kicks on.
The exhibitions are on view noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and noon to 3 p.m. Fridays (in August only) to August 27 at Flashpoint, 916 G St NW. Free.