In a most grisly and brightly colored photo-documentary about how the United States has been turned into a playground for anti-terrorist simulations, indoctrinations, seductions, drills and spectacles, Nina Berman mounts the most impressive and power-packed political art of the season. Beginning with the fruitful conceit that our country became a “homeland” (a militarized society) after 9/11/2001, Berman traveled the land shooting all the security exercises she could find with a social photographer’s eye and a deadly compositional intelligence. What comes out most in Berman’s incisive series—repeated over and over again—is how Americans find it so easy to retain their leisure culture and attendant attitudes as they participate in and observe practical and symbolic rituals of possible disasters; we see a “weapons display” by the Marines in which kids—some in face paint—pass around guns with childish delight: boys with their toys. (Michael Weinstein)
Through May 22 at Gage Gallery, Roosevelt University, 18 S. Michigan.