We ducked into 49 Geary at lunchtime today—having missed First Thursday, for, like, the millionth month in a row—and had time to hit one gallery, Robert Koch. (We'll be reporting from more in days to come...) We have a bit of a weakness for photography, and for big color prints of massively detailed images in particular and, even more specifically, for Edward Burtynsky's lush yet grim scenes from the shipbreaking beaches of Bangladesh. Imagine our joy, then, to discover we'd wandered into "Dystopia," a group show at Koch that features, among a slew of cool photos, a Burtynsky diptych.

The nice guy behind the desk explained that the show's theme was prompted by the general state of the world around us (economic, environmental, etc.), but we like to think we detect the influence of Slumdog Millionaire... can there be such a thing as dystopia chic?

Edward Gordon photo

The irony of Richard Gordon's Washington, D.C. Constitution Ave. (above) seems a bit, well, easy to us, but judge for yourself. And don't miss the photos of China by Benoit Aquin (below, Motorcycle and Storm) and Shai Kremer's shot of New York rubble (bottom).

Aquin photo

Kremer photo