The organizers of “Gute Aussichten: New German Photography” have covered all (or at least most of) the bases with this year’s iteration of the juried exhibition, now on display at Goethe-Institut. Conceptual art? Check: Katrin Kamrau’s interactive meditation on the empty spaces where photography is practiced. Still life? Samuel Henne offers portraits of Rube Goldbergish inventions built from found domestic objects, set against 1950s hues of pink and baby blue. Documentary? Rebecca Sampson presents emotion-laden images of people, from obese to anorexic, undergoing treatment for eating disorders. Landscape? There’s Helena Schatzle’s project to retrace the steps of her grandfather as he returned home from a World War II POW camp in Russia, which leads viewers through an unrelentingly grim landscape of windswept plains, rusting chain-link fences, and foreboding skies, leavened only by portraits of the elderly residents she met along the way. Abstraction? Try Stephan Tillmans’ mesmerizing pixel arrangements made by flipping off old television sets and capturing the geometrical shapes that appear as the broadcast image vanishes. The remaining entry—-a collaboration between Andre Hemstedt and Tine Reimer—-crosses boundaries, meditating on the idea of balance using the simple but eloquent imagery of a two-by-four leaning against a plain wall at ever-more-unstable angles.
The exhibit is on view 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to Sept. 2 at Goethe-Institut, 812 7th St. NW. Free. (202) 289-1200.