Having done a show about Capitol Hill, I now have an exhibit on another DC neighborhood. The exhibit, NoMa: Changing Vistas – Changing Views is part of a series sponsored by the Washington Project for the Arts and NoMa BID, in the lobby of 1200 First Street NE. It will be up through March 18. There will be an artist reception from 6-8 on March 10 and I hope you can come.
My show illustrates how vistas and views in NoMa have changed historically, as well as how the views from NoMa’s streets change minute by minute. I used lenticular pictures to illustrated long term historical changes. I’ve put archival and my own photos of the same sites together so that viewers sees different images when looking at the pictures from different sides. How lenticulars are made is enough for a whole blog entry, but to give you an idea, this is the image I printed to make a picture of the corner of K Street and North Capitol Street:
It is folded like an accordion so that as viewers go past it, they see a change from one to the other of these pictures.
To illustrate how views in MoMa change rapidly, I included two groupings of photos of the Mathmatica Building on First St NE. It was great fun to photograph because it has a curved, highly reflective exterior that is really interesting for the way it interacts constantly with the people, things, and other buildings near it. There are two buildings planned for the site, and the North side of the Mathmatica Building will be hidden when its planned companion goes up next to it. This will hide the current view and change it dramatically. The choice to have two buildings was made partly in reaction to DC’s building height limit, and the second building was delayed by economic factors; so the evolution of this vista is an example of the variety of factors that determine the visual environment of NoMa.
I photographed the Mathmatica Building from all sides, even standing in the alley behind it getting a view of the construction of buildings going up close to it. Here are some of those pictures. (In the show, they are all about 16 x 20 inch images and a bit more imposing looking than here.)
One thing I noticed as I walked around NoMa taking pictures is how you can see the water tower on top of the old Woodies warehouse from so many places — almost the way one sees the Washington Monument from so many spots in the District. I could only fit on shot of the water tower into this exhibit, but it is a fun one because it is the water tower reflected in the wall of the building where the exhibit is located. The photo is hanging on the end of the exhibition wall so that when you can see it from outside by looking through the glass wall that it is a picture of. If you look at it from inside the lobby, the pictured wall is just behind your back. I suppose that is some sort of meta-view/meta-vista. Or whatever. Here’s the picture: