This old house
For artists John Diebel and Robert Roscoe, the idea of "place" is a kind of incubator. In their exhibit, "Neither Here Nor There," they point out poetic ironies either broadly, as Diebel does, or up close, as in Roscoe's photos.
Diebel's illustrations of city walls have historical significance. For example, a diagram-like image of the Berlin Wall shows how the infrastructure itself contributed or created the cultural phenomenon of "Wall-watchers." These onlookers perched on certain elevations that provided a nearly secret glimpse into forbidden territory. Later, sausage and souvenir vendors dotted the once-deadly frontier.
Some of his works explain how compact communities generate isolation and that developments aren't always what they seem. Similarly, Roscoe's photos zoom in so close to the buildings that his snapshots disclose an abstract beauty hidden in shadowy areas of distress.
Demolished walls or corners become richly textured surfaces as they shed years through layers of peeling paint. Other wrinkles provide a house's intimate history of who, what, where, when and how. Previous tenants leave a visual residue that gives visitors enough clues for a sense of place.
Tu-Su thru July 31; Tu-Th noon-8 p.m., F-Su noon-5p.m. Rosalux Gallery, 1011Washington Ave. S. Free. 747-3942, www.rosaluxgallery.com.
Hard as Steele
Nicholas Ray's dramatic 1950 film, "In a Lonely Place" profiles screenwriter Dixon Steele, a man alternately prone to extreme bouts of anger and inspiration. Steele is the prime suspect for the murder of a woman whose last known encounter while alive was with him.
It makes sense, since Steele often combats his frustrations with violence - sometimes to the point of endangering the lives of those at whom his fury is aimed. However, Steele also has a soft spot, which at least one woman notices. She sympathizes so much that she sticks up for him when the police come with questions.
But when she starts to date him, she finds that Steele is capable of transforming himself. When he gets angry, he gets dangerous. Perhaps Steele is a creative archetype who wrestles with his need for creativity - to the point of being hampered by endeavors that don't quite utilize his talents. Humphrey Bogart portrays the enigmatic Steele in this film noir thriller. Before the screening, rapper Doomtree sets the tone.
Anna Pratt can be reached at email@example.com.