Brian Ulrich's America


I had never seen Brian Ulrich's photographs before he sent me an email commenting on my site. He's going to be included in a group show, "Unframed First Look," hosted by Sean Kelly Gallery beginning the 28th of this month. The show is described as "A juried salon for photographers without New York representation." All sales wil benefit ACRIA, and the jurors are Adam Fuss, Jack Person and Cindy Sherman. I'm sure we're now going to be hearing a lot about Ulrich.

His own site includes countless wonderfully-nuanced images related, in his own words, to [the peculiarly American?] "shopping and consumer culture since 2001."

I take photographs with the hope to show how we appear caught within the excesses of a consumer-dominated culture. In 2001, consumer culture was redefined to include larger political and global implications: post 9-11, citizens were admonished to take to the malls to boost our economy through shopping. My photographs of excessive, corporate, and sometimes hyper-real retail spaces document the everyday activities of consumption. By scrutinizing these rituals - ones we often take for granted - I hope to help us evaluate the increasing complexities of our contemporary world. As world events grow beyond our control, is this how we will cope?
Most of the photographs seem to capture the environment centering on his adopted home, Chicago. The technique is stunning, but it's the melancholy beauty of his subjects and the tenderness of his own gaze which holds the eye and the soul of the viewer. In spite of the project's description, this is not a cold social commentary.

Two more previews from, and then you can go look on your own:



[images from]

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Published on July 13, 2004 9:43 PM.

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