Open World Through Sept. 29 at the Arlington Arts Center, 3550 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. The term “Open World,” borrowed for the title of the Arlington Arts Center’s current show, comes not from politics or ecology, but from video games. Carolee Jakes: Time and Distance and Chris Corson: Being Human Through Sept. 29 at Studio Gallery, 2108 R St. Poignantly, the artist presents a rather ordinary place — not a whole open world, but just a small place to hang out — as an impossible dream. Jakes and Corson The paintings in Carolee Jakes’s “Time and Distance” look fine at Studio Gallery, but some of them would also fit nicely around the corner at the Phillips Collection.
The term “Open World,” borrowed for the title of the Arlington Arts Center’s current show, comes not from politics or ecology, but from video games. An open-world game is one in which the player’s avatar moves freely through the simulated environment rather than along a set course. There are limitations, of course, just as there are in life — or art.
The closest thing to a video game in this nine-artist exhibition is Nicholas O’Brien’s “Cross Timbers,” a far-from-open world in which the player encounters pop-ups of historical facts about a Midwestern region rather than virtual antagonists. But many of the other participants rely on video, if not the game format.
In Rachel Frank’s short movies, people wearing outsize animal-head masks encounter one another in a real forest. Plakokee (Justin Plakas and Rachel Debuque) offer an ad parody that mashes up pitches for computer apps, cryptocurrency and new-age spirituality. Stephanie J. Williams’s...
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