Riffing on the Museum’s and Court Theater’s production of a new translation of Henrik Ibsen’s brutally poignant tragic drama recounting the failed pretensions of deluded idealism, “The Wild Duck,” Christopher Hiltz was seized with the conceit of taking black-and-white snapshots of members of the audience right outside the performance space. Intended by the playwright to disturb the middle-class complacency of more than a century ago, Hiltz is grimly aware that today’s theater-going burghers are no more visibly introspective and just as self-satisfied as their counterparts were in Ibsen’s Norway, having accurately titled his series, “Pleasant Enough all the Same.” Hiltz’s all-too-human takes show us normal and likable enough middle-age and older Chicagoans with a taste for culture, and a sprinkling of the vivacious young. Art aimed at inciting self-criticism has always fought an uphill battle; its failure is implicit in its quest. (Michael Weinstein)
Through February 15 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave.