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Marshall Field's, 2009 Archival inkjet print 11 x 14 inches on 13 x 19 inch paper Signed Edition of 50
Over the past few years, Brian Ulrich has documented the peculiarities and complexities of the consumer-dominated culture in which we live. His project Copia explores not only the everyday activities of shopping, but also the economic, cultural, social, and political implications of commercialism and the roles we play in self-destruction, over-consumption, and as targets of marketing and advertising. The three series existing within the Copia project include Retail, Thrift, and most recently Dark Stores, Ghost Boxes and Dead Malls. The first series Retail explored the roles consumers play as targets of marketing and advertising, whereas Thrift looked at the secondary life cycle of consumer goods. In the most recent series, Dark Stores, Ghost Boxes and Dead Malls, Ulrich examines the recent economic downturn by photographing emptied stores such as the barren scene in Marshall Field’s, 2009.
Born 1971 in Northport, NY, Ulrich completed an MFA in photography at Columbia College Chicago and a BFA in photography at the University of Akron. Exhibitions include the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Walker Art Center; and the Carnegie Museum. In 2007 Ulrich was named one of the year’s 30 Emerging Photographers by Photo District News and a critic’s pick by Richard Woodward for ARTnews. In 2009 he was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. His work was recently featured in the New York Times Magazine; Orion Magazine; Vice Magazine; Mother Jones; Chicago Tribune; Artforum; Harper’s; and Adbusters. His photographs are included in major museum collections such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography.