In an unsparing onslaught of photographic social criticism, curator Natasha Egan offers us ten artists with messages questioning the depredations of modern civilization whose images never fail to be beautiful. Top honors for deadly wit go to Dionisio Gonzalez, who confects color panoramic images of shots of rude shanties in Sao Paulo, Brazil intermixed with bits of that city’s postmodern architecture to create an impossible street in which the wealthy and the wretched come cheek to jowl. On a more metaphysical plane, Liset Castillo takes on the age-old commentary on vanity, constructing sand-castle cities in her backyard, shooting them, destroying them, and then shooting the ruins that she has wrought. On the museum’s top floor, Christina Seely reaches the acme of irony by providing us with a world map showing where the mega-carbon footprints are, and then serving up scintillating large-format color photos of the cities that produce climate change taken from afar at night, gleaming with unearthly brilliance. Postmodernists always try to have it both ways. (Michael Weinstein)
Through July 5 at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, 600 S. Michigan.