Alarm bells ought to go off whenever a wall text informs viewers that the photography exhibit they’re visiting was mounted in honor of the 51st annual meeting of an organization’s board of governors. For the Inter-American Development Bank’s exhibit “Mexico 2010: A Vision of the 21st Century,” such institutional framing undercuts an intermittently enlightening visual cross-section. The downside is having to wade through earnest images of skyscrapers, green transportation options, and kids and seniors educating themselves using laptops; these photographs look like, well, images made to promote the good works of an international development organization. The hokey captions grate further: Does the image of a farmboy straining to move a cow forward by pushing on its rear end really represent “just one of the many challenges facing young people in Mexico today?” Still, don’t miss Dulce Pinzon’s refreshingly deadpan series of portraits of everyday Mexicans dressed up as superheroes; Eric Scibor-Rylski’s voyeuristic glimpses into the lives of husbands and wives and fathers and sons; and the arresting, diagonal formality of Alan Gerardo Gonzalez Ruvalcaba’s photograph of the narrow strip where sea and shore meet.
THE EXHIBITION IS ON VIEW 11 A.M. TO 6 P.M. MONDAY TO FRIDAY AT THE IDB CULTURAL CENTER, 1300 NEW YORK AVE. NW. FREE. (202) 623-1213.