What is it about “Thirteen”? First a movie, then a Broadway musical–now a photography exhibition, featuring 13 images of 13-year-olds by the German photographer Janina Wick. Echoing the portraits of young people by Dutch photographer Rineke Djikstra and using the understated color palette of Stephen Shore and the soft backgrounds of Uta Barth, Wick’s images inevitably probe the delicate, fraught moment between childhood and adulthood, between Hello Kitty gear and studded collars. At times, the subject matter veers into a rehash of familiar types (rebel, ugly duckling, remote-control-wielding slacker) but Wick teases out admirable subtlety out of two subjects—Kimberly, who evolves from good girl to uneasy teen in the course of three images, and Charlotte, whose closed-eyed reverie perfectly embodies the notion of ambiguity.
THE EXHIBITION IS ON DISPLAY 9 A.M.–5 P.M. MONDAY TO THURSDAY AND 9 A.M.–3 P.M. FRIDAY, TO OCT. 30 AT THE GOETHE-INSTITUT, 812 7TH ST. NW. FREE. (202) 289-1200.