Kentucky College of Art + Design at Spalding University
849 S. Third Street
Louisville, KY 40203
(502) 618-4600
kycad.spalding.edu/849-gallery
Hours: Thurs-Fri: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm and by appointment

Not If But When by Brian Ulrich
Dates: October 13 – November 17, 2017
Events: Opening Reception: October 12 at 5:00-8:00 pm (Artist Talk at 6:00-7:00 pm)

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Artist Statement
For the last 15 years, I have been engaged in an exploration of the peculiarities and complexities of our consumer-dominated culture. Initially, this project, titled Copia, began in the weeks and months after the September 11th attacks in 2001. I was struck then that the drive to consumption quickly outpaced our grieving, healing, and solidarity, as the then President gave citizens a directive to shop in order to boost the U.S. economy, directly equating consumerism with patriotism. The first series in this project, Retail (2001-2006), focused on the middle-class shopping experience in malls and big- box stores. Thrift (2005-2008), followed in this model with photographs of the secondary life cycle of consumer goods. Dark Stores, Ghostboxes & Dead Malls (2008-2012), became the 3rd chapter of Copia. The economic downturn presented some of the very stores I photographed at the beginning of the project emptied and laid barren in the hulking vacant architecture of the big box, mall or store. As Copia expanded over time, it became a more comprehensive project; one historical, anthropological, ideological and indicative of American identity and psychology. This became evident in the collections of retail ephemera, signage, objects and historical photographs in Closeout (2009-2012). – Brian Ulrich

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