- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Mexico — or rather the exhibit Mexican Report: Contemporary Art from Mexico — has come to town, with more than 50 artists showing at the Cultural Institute of Mexico and Meridian International Center through April 22. “Mexican Report” is an exhibit of art by the most important contemporary and foreign artists living in Mexico. Buses run between the Cultural Institute of Mexico, 2829 16th St. NW (202/728-1654) and Meridian International Center, 1630 Crescent Place NW (202/667-6800), both open 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The small art space called The Curator’s Office, 1515 14th Street NW (Suite 201) shows videos from the exhibition through March 26, noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. All are free.

— Joanna Shaw-Eagle

Gunner Palace provides a vivid summary of the tasks and thoughts that preoccupy American soldiers in Iraq — specifically, members of the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Field Artillery, assigned to patrol duty in the teeming Baghdad neighborhood of Adhamiya in the fall of 2003. They’re quartered at the palace once occupied by the late Uday Hussein. The new tenants nicknamed it Gunner Palace. Michael Tucker’s video camera establishes an invaluable intimacy with the men and their environment, and you may have the eerie sensation of beginning to distinguish the faraway sounds of mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and improvised explosive devices. The narration isn’t as sharply calibrated. Mr. Tucker sounds like he’s channeling Martin Sheen in “Apocalypse Now.” He also likes to jacks up the rap music, which isn’t as effective as the impromptu rap riffs later heard from a number of soldiers.

— Gary Arnold

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