How many times have you gone shopping, then gotten home, put your purchase in a closet and used it once or never again? Personally, I’m ashamed I’ve done this more times than I’d like to admit.
For the last decade, contemporary photographer Brian Ulrich has documented this habit of American consumers. He traveled throughout the United States and took photos of shoppers overwhelmed by the wall-to-wall goods found in malls and big-box stores.
To complement this, Ulrich then photographed thrift stores as they tried to catalogue the vast amounts of donated, discarded and unwanted consumer products. And from 2008 to 2011, his Dark Stores photographs highlighted the abandoned buildings and empty parking lots of the 2008 financial crisis — some of them in Cleveland.
This three-part collection, which was recently featured on Slate.com, is currently on exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Copia: Retail, Thrift, and Dark Stores is in the East Wing’s Photography Galleries.
On November 18 – one week before Black Friday, the Museum is hosting Buyer’s Remorse, a young professionals’ reception to celebrate the exhibit.
Have something in your closet that you bought on a whim and never wore again or a vintage outfit you’ve been wanting the perfect opportunity to premiere? Wear it to the party, where you’ll have the opportunity to meet the artist Brian Ulrich and enjoy high-energy rock and roll from DJ Reena Samaan and the cash bar.
I’m actually considering a two-fer: a vintage dress I bought last year I still haven’t worn (I know — horrible). I’m looking forward to the event because it’s an excellent reminder to be a more thoughtful consumer when the holiday shopping season starts the following week.
Buyer’s Remorse starts at 7pm and goes until 10. Tickets are $8; $6 for students and museum members. They can be purchased here or by calling 216.421.7350.
Copia: Retail, Thrift, and Dark Stores can be seen at the Cleveland Museum of Art until January 16, 2012 and the entire Copia series can be found in the book Is This Place Great or What.
Cleveland Museum of Art / Brian Ulrich 411:
- Brian Ulrich: Copia – Retail, Thrift, and Dark Stores, 2001-11
- Buyer’s Remorse Young Professionals Event
- Cleveland Museum of Art on Facebook
Disclosure: I was offered a pass to this event. However, the choice of which events I blog about and my opinions on them are 100% my own.