Black Box: Oliver Laric at Hirshhorn Museum Friday, May 30

In his Versions video series, Austrian video artist Oliver Laric seeks the origins of the remix. He interrogates everything from Disney animation stills to comic book iconography, placing corresponding images side by side while a narrator, speaking in a tone inspired by text-to-voice software, speaks lines mined from Henry James, Gertrude Stein, and Jorge Luis Borges. As he explores authenticity from an artistic perspective, Laric also questions how each reconstituted image changes in meaning. Sure, a car is a car whether it’s a red one or a white one, but when a photo of two basketball players jumping for a rebound is redrawn in the style of a comic cel, the event seems fictitious, even if it happened in real life. The result is a hybrid video that repackages the old with the new. It requires some thoughtful consideration, so diverge from the tourists gaping at the Rothkos and head for the Hirshhorn’s quiet black box. The exhibition is on view daily, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., to Oct. 5, at Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 7th Street and Constitution Avenue SW. Free. (202) 633-4674. hirshhorn.si.edu.

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