Brian Ulrich @ LU

We hosted Chicago photographer Brian Ulrich at Lawrence University April 30 where he lectured on his Copia series and visited with our photography and video students. His portrait of a goth teen shoe-shopping was among our favorites showing 21st century youthful rebellion being expressed through consumer choice. After photographing Manitowoc youths in Ramones t-shirts in the 1990s, we see a continuum of difference still expressed via shopping. Can teenaged questioning and dissatisfaction evolve into something more than the latest Hot Topic fad or yet another skateboarding revival now? Ultra-goth dead malls, which are great for skateboarders, have been absorbed into Brian's Copia series recently. He just received a Guggenheim Fellowship to fund expanding the work in the coming year. Excellent. He photographs the abandoned structures at night to underscore their eerie presence. The pictures gave us hope that these fading cathedrals of consumerism will soon become permaculture homesteads or nursing homes. Our home town, Manitowoc, features the decrepit empty Brutalist architectural wonder, the Mid Cities Mall. We hope Brian will visit and add an eerie after dark study of the place to his ouevre.

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