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Consuming Consumer Art

The PRC explores advertising in latest exhibition

The theme of AD/AGENCY, an exhibition on display through January 27 at the Photographic Resource Center, is the draw of consumerism, and the show includes nine artists whose work mimics and mocks advertising from catalogues, products, or stores, says exhibition curator Leslie K. Brown. In Brian Ulrich’s Bloomington, MN (Blanket World), a saleswoman stares out of the photograph, stoic, reserved, and surrounded by hundreds of blankets covered in white tigers, SpongeBob SquarePants, and sports team logos. Kate Bingaman-Burt’s work documents her love-hate relationship with shopping and marketing; her photos show items in five-by-seven diptychs, such as a recently purchased brown polka-dot dress, later stuffed in her closet.

“It’s a show about artists that look to the ideas of advertising and product photography and make us think about our role as consumers,” says Brown. “I don’t think we can avoid consumerism — in fact, it’s sometimes fun to jump around in it and get all giddy and excited. There’s a reason that these bright, happy colors and pretty shapes work.”

The Photographic Resource Center, 832 Commonwealth Ave., is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The PRC will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. December 18 to December 21 and will be closed from December 22 to January 1, 2008. Visit the PRC Web site for ticket information.

Kimberly Cornuelle can be reached at kcornuel@bu.edu.