Brian Ulrich, Marshall Fields, 2009, ink-jet print, 20 x 24".

Brian Ulrich

Cleveland Museum of Art

Brian Ulrich, Marshall Fields, 2009, ink-jet print, 20 x 24".

Brian Ulrich’s current show at the Cleveland Museum of Art, “Copia: Retail, Thrift, and Dark Stores, 2001–11,” encompasses nearly sixty photographs that depict mass consumerism and its by-products in the United States in the wake of 9/11, during a decade in which American politicians routinely equated buying things with patriotism. Part of the overarching series “Copia,” 2001–11, these segments are loosely chronological. Beginning with shoppers in malls and big-box stores, Ulrich next turns to thrift shops, with their accumulated goods and alienated employees, before finally revealing “dark” (closed) retail locations, melancholic memorials suggesting the end of an era. Through this narrative, Ulrich presents not only objects of consumption but also the architectural forms in which they are (or once were) contained as well as the states of mind their consumption engenders.

As pictured

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