"The Alien's Guide to the Ruins of Washington, D.C." at the Corcoran Thursday, July 4

“The Alien’s Guide investigates the abiding influence of classicism, the dissemination of style, and the language of power,” says the Corcoran of its latest exhibit, Ellen Harvey’s interpretation of a future, ruinous Washington, D.C. devoid of humans—and ripe for visitation by aliens. Between its Parisian radial street grid and imposing, columned monuments, L’Enfant D.C. is a poster child for classical design. Why wouldn’t architecturally inclined extraterrestrials pay it a visit? Harvey has built a D.C. just for them, enabling a warped self-guided tour through reinterpretations of structures we know well (the Capitol, the World War II memorial, the White House). And even tourists in our city’s afterlife need transportation: Harvey—er, the aliens—have that covered with the erection of a spaceship in the Corcoran’s rotunda.

The exhibition is on view Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Thursdays to Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to Oct. 6, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW. $10. (202) 639-1700. corcoran.org.

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