Photo Gallery: Brian Ulrich’s Brightly Colored Consumerist Hell

Consumerist culture is pretty freaking weird. That’s easy to forget, since we live in the thick of it, but photographer Brian Ulrich reminds us with the three projects that comprise his Copia series, which explores different aspects of our mania for shopping. A while back, Flavorwire looked at Dark Stores, Ulrich’s chronicle of abandoned and decaying malls and shops. Now, Booooooom points us to Retail, a journey through the familiar yet alien world of the big-box stores, shopping centers, and supermarkets that are still very much alive. The spoils of consumerism are on full display here: We see a small, glassy-eyed child adrift in a Disney-fied paradise, an adult receiving a full-body machine massage in the middle of a mall, a bride-to-be looking bored as she browses racks of wedding gowns. A few shots from grocery stores may be the most haunting — one is simply case after desolate freezer case of OreIda microwave potato products, while an image of spilled milk pooling on the floor in front of a giant Faygo display fills us with unspeakable dread. Click through for a gallery of our favorite Retail photos, visit Ulrich’s website to see much more of his work, and, if you’re in the area, be sure to check out Copia at the Cleveland Museum of Art beginning August 27th.

Granger, IN 2003. Photo credit: Brian Ulrich