Tag Archives: Cleveland Museum of Art

Thomas Bouquin, Mur de garrigue

Thomas Bouquin, Mur de garrigue

Thomas Bouquin

Mur de garrigue,
Poulx, France, 2012
From the Lou Mistrau series
Website – ThomasBouquin.com

Thomas Bouquin was born in Lyon (France), and lives and works in Montréal (Québec), where he is currently completing a BA in photography at Concordia University. He is mainly interested by the relationship between man and the landscape, especially how elements such as memory, space and light can influence and modify our perception of these places. His work has been exhibited in the Art Matters Festival 2012, and in the VAV Gallery. Also, he is the co-author of a serie of zines called Montréal-Paris, exhibited in 2012 in DIY: Photographers & Books at the Cleveland Museum of Art, in ABC : MTL at the Canadian Center of Architecture, and are part of different public book collections such as La Chambre Blanche (Québec), and The Maison Européenne de la Photographie (Paris).

Greg Ruffing

OK, I admit it.  Exploring Greg Ruffing’s project on Yard Sales had me drooling over certain objects featured at some on the sales, and my first thought was: Where are these sales, and how fast can I get there?  I mean, who doesn’t want a set of owl lamps with crushed velvet shades?  My reaction is exactly what Greg is thinking about when he creates his work–our culture of consumption and the desire to have what we don’t need.

Greg Ruffing is a Chicago-based artist working in photography and mixed
media and often explores themes of consumption and the economy. His
works have been exhibited at the Annenberg Space for Photography
in Los Angeles, the New York Photo Festival, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the
Center for Fine Art Photography in Colorado, and elsewhere. In addition, his photographs
have appeared in publications such as TIME
Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Mother
Jones
, Smithsonian, The Atlantic Monthly, and others. Greg also runs an online
photography project titled Self-Guided Tour, a series of writings
about photography, art, and contemporary issues.

Greg has created a book on his Yard Sale work that has been included in the DIY: Photographers & Books exhibition that is currently on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art until the end of 2012. The book is a precursor to a larger publication he hopes to publish in 2013.

My series Yard Sales is focused on the
complexities of consumption: the ubiquity and disposability of consumer goods
and their ever-shifting value and meaning. In a way, these photographs are an
attempt to document the cycle of our pursuits in accumulating “stuff” (and our
relationship to that “stuff”), in a way that reveals fundamental human habits
and behaviors and their link to socioeconomic circumstance.

I was first drawn to yard sales as a sort of grassroots marketplace defined by the seller’s curious efforts of display and advertising to attract shoppers, and the buyer’s hunt for prized items and bargain prices. I was also interested in how the yard sale, as an event, transforms the private domestic space of the seller’s residence into a public commercial space to facilitate purchasing goods.

I’m also intrigued by how yard sales illustrate a specific dyadic complex of consumerism: on the one hand, they speak to our somewhat insatiable compulsion to shop and hoard possessions, and perhaps a certain cognitive blurring of the distinction between needs and wants (related to the process by which consumers assess and impose value and meaning onto material items).

And yet, on the other hand, it seems that yard sales (and other forms of resale) serve as a crucial antidote to much of the disposability and wastefulness inherent in consumerism – sending unwanted objects into secondary cycles of consumption where they may find renewed value or purpose through subsequent buyers.

Furthermore, I’ve undertaken this project in the context of the American economic Recession that began in 2008. In those past four years photographing this project, I’ve met and talked to countless families who, in the aftermath of financial hardship nationwide, have sold off possessions just to help pay their bills. In addition, while photographing yard sales in southwest Florida (which has continually had some of the highest home foreclosure rates in the U.S.), I met people who were selling goods obtained from an underground network of scavengers who take discarded possessions from the littered front yards of foreclosed and evicted homes.

It would seem that the Recession has brought decades of unbridled consumer spending (especially its emphasis as an economic engine) into question. Some navel-gazers have even wondered if we actually shopped ourselves into the Recession by living beyond our means through cheap credit, and many have spoken of pursuing a more austere lifestyle. Its in this framework that I hope my Yard Sales project can contribute to a sincere dialogue on and modest reformulation of our relationship to the items we choose to buy.

Sara Macel, Plane Over Baton Rouge

Sara Macel, Plane Over Baton Rouge

Sara Macel

Plane Over Baton Rouge,
Baton Rogue, Louisiana, 2011
From the May the Road Rise to Meet You series
Website – SaraMacel.com

Sara Macel received her B.F.A. in Photography and Imaging from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2003, and her MFA. in Photography, Video, & Related Media from the School of Visual Arts in 2011. Her work has been widely exhibited, including at Sean Kelly Gallery, New York; Center for Photography at Woodstock, New York; Jen Bekman Gallery, New York; and Kris Graves Projects, New York. She has received numerous awards, including winner in the 2011 Magenta Foundation Flash Forward competition, Top 50 Photographer in Photolucida’s Critical Mass Award, finalist in FotoVisura Spotlight Awards, best in show at Photobook 2012! at Davis Orton Gallery in Hudson, NY and was recently named a winner in the New York Photo Festival Invitational for her self-published monograph May the Road Rise to Meet You. The book will also be on display in fall 2012 exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art and Gallery Carte Blanche in San Francisco. Her work is in various private collections, including the Harry Ransom Center and the Center of Photography at Woodstock. Sara currently teaches photography at Rockland Community College.

Garie Waltzer, Shanghai / Overpass #1

Garie Waltzer, Shanghai / Overpass #1

Garie Waltzer

Shanghai / Overpass #1,
, 2001
Website – GarieWaltzer.com

Garie Waltzer was born in New York City and received her BFA in painting and MFA in photography from State University of New York/ Buffalo. She is a recipient of numerous artist grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council, including the 2011 Ohio Arts Council Award for Excellence in Photography, and most recently, the 2012 Cleveland Arts Prize. Waltzer developed the photography program at Cleveland’s Cuyahoga Community College where she chaired the department and taught for many years. Her work is included in the numerous private, corporate and museum collections, including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Robert B. Menschel Media Center, and Houston’s Museum of Fine Art. She is currently working on Living City, a project examining the cultural landscape of urban civic spaces.

Brian Ulrich Book Party

Please join us on for a Book Party celebrating Is This Place Great Or What, Brian Ulrich’s long-awaited first monograph. The event will be held at Aperture Gallery on Thursday, October 20, 2011, from 7:00 – 9:00 pm.

The book presents the photographer’s decade-long exploration of the shifting tectonic plates that make up American consumer society. Ulrich focuses, in part, on photographing the architectural legacies of a retail-driven economy in the midst of collapse—shopping malls on the brink of demolition, empty big box stores, and other retail structures in transition.

Is This Place Great or What coincides with an exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Brian Ulrich (born in North Port, New York, 1971) holds an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. He has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. In 2009, he was the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. He is represented by Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago; Julie Saul, New York; and Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco. In 2006, Aperture published his work as part ofMP3: Midwest Photographers Publication Project.

Aperture Gallery
547 West 27th Street, 4th floor
New York, New York
(212) 505-5555

Aperture on Press: Brian Ulrich

Brian Ulrich is on press for his upcoming book Is This Place Great Or What at Main Choice Printers in China. This monograph presents the photographer’s decade-long exploration of the shifting tectonic plates that make up American consumer society. Ulrich focuses, in part, on photographing the architectural legacies of a retail-driven economy in the midst of collapse—shopping malls on the brink of demolition, empty big-box stores, and other retail structures in transition. Look for the book in stores this October! Is This Place Great Or What will accompany an exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Read more here from Brian’s experience making the book on his blog Not if But When.