Lecture: Thu, Oct 11, 7pm
Brian Ulrich's work came to prominence through Copia, an ongoing, long-term study of American commerce that first focused on shoppers in retail big-box stores in the wake of 9/11. While President Bush's urging that Americans "go shopping" to help America recover from the terrorist attack may have been more myth than fact, Ulrich's work dives straight to the heart of American mythmaking: that a perfect, utopian future is purchasable.
His work examines vacated shopping malls (Dead Malls), retail establishments abandoned in the wake of the financial crisis (Dark Stores), and how the retail ecosystem recycles itself in second-hand stores (Thrift). While taking a conceptual approach to examining how buying-and-selling is at the root of the American ethos, Ulrich's approach is substantively aligned with his photo-documentarian forbearers. Ulrich's Dead Mall's might as well be our decade's dust bowl, and by illuminating their haunting presence, Ulrich reveals the cracks in the thinnest of facades, and that freedom isn't free, it's On Sale now!
His 2011 book from Aperture, Is This Place Great or What combines all three projects into a cohesive whole. Ulrich currently teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.
Photo details: "Pep Boys, 2009"
Robert C. Williams Paper Museum - GA Tech Campus
500 10th Street., NW
Atlanta, GA 30332 [map: Google Maps]
p: (404) 894-7849
ACP Listing #: 082