Planned as a paradigm of paternalistic capitalism at the turn of the twentieth century by the Mark Manufacturing Company as an English-style village community for its workers, Marktown was never completed but still exists as an enclave in gritty East Chicago, Indiana. Dave Jordano’s color photographs of the streets and people of Marktown today show us a place of ethnic diversity and economic disparity where underclass and middle class merge with a blue-collar majority to form a patchwork of poverty and propriety. The draw of Jordano’s clear and straightforward documentary images is the vivid contrast between the village idyll in the background and the realities of contemporary multi-cultural urban life that dominate the series; it is not what Clayton Mark had in mind, but it seems to work. (Michael Weinstein)
At City Gallery, 806 North Michigan, (312)742-2783, through May 4.