WASHINGTONIANS KNOW THE work of video artist Beat Streuli through an installation owned by the Hirshhorn Museum and often on show there. That piece consists of slow-motion footage of the crowds on a busy corner in downtown Manhattan: It gives a close look at public behavior in an urban setting. A more recent Streuli piece, at G Fine Art for a couple more weeks, does the same trick for Venice Beach: Two wall-size projections show telephoto close-ups, again in slow-mo, of the heads of people strolling by the sea. Same premise as the New York piece, but a new setting and a new take on how Americans behave when they're out and about. In the side room at G, Washington artist Jose Ruiz also has a two-screen video, but this time the screens are the size of a large book. One screen shows a white man, dressed in black, spray-painting black graffiti onto a pure white wall. The other screen shows a white-dressed, dark-skinned man -- the artist, in fact -- laboring to undo that graffiti by spray-painting over it in white. The work's about mark-making and its fragility; it's about censorship, and the right -- or not -- to express yourself in public space. It's about purity and encroachment, order and entropy -- and about which one of these two artists stands for which.
-- Blake Gopnik
At G Fine Art, 1515 14th St. NW, through July 16. Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free. Call 202-462-1601 or visit www.gfineartdc.com.
THE WHITE HOUSE gave up its stables nearly a century ago, but a gem of an exhibition at the White House Visitor Center brings the presidential equestrian connection into focus. "White House Horses" offers 72 images gathered by the White House Historical Association. The first stable was built in 1800 at 14th and G streets NW. The last, shown here, was a graceful Victorian structure with mansard roof on 17th Street, which sheltered official transport horses and presidential favorites as well. Few presidents were as adept on horseback as "Rough Rider" Teddy Roosevelt, whose "rules" for power rides are shared. Modern presidents continue traditions as best they can. Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton are pictured astride horses. Richard Nixon and George W. Bush are photographed at the Kentucky Derby.
-- Linda Hales
At the White House Visitor Center, 1450 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, through Sept. 26. Open daily, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. For more information, call 202-208-1631.
IN THE EARLY '90S, hip-hop had a jones for jazz, with sample-hungry producers scouring the Blue Note catalogue for the hottest gems. The trend spawned plenty of one-hit blunders (Us3, Lucas), some bona fide classics (A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul) and one group that fell somewhere in between: Digable Planets. The eccentric trio ruled the airwaves with the 1993 single "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)," rambling breezy-cool rhymes over Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers' "Stretchin'." But despite critical kudos for the Planets' debut album, "Reachin'," and their sophomore effort, "Blowout Comb," the group lost its momentum and went splitsville in 1995. Now, for the first time in nearly 10 years, the Planets are touring on the promise of a forthcoming reunion album. In other words, they're back like dat.
-- Chris Richards
At 9:30 club, 815 V St. NW. Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. $25. Call 800-955-5566 or visit www.tickets.com.