Exhibition sponsored in part by the Office of the Chancellor, Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Fox Development Corporation, Krannert Art Museum Director's Circle Fund, and Hampton Inn. Image credit: Ai Weiwei, Neolithic Culture Pot with Coca-Cola Logo, 1992, neolithic pot with acrylic paint © Ai Weiwei
Ours is a culture defined by marketing and acquiring. With one of our founding fathers—Thomas Jefferson—a compulsive shopper, this just may be part of being American. Virtually every activity in our lives is experienced through purchases, from bassinets to caskets. The landscape is studded with logos, brand names, and billboards—inducements to participate in a culture defined by the acquisition of commodities. Branded and On Display examined the work of artists who explore specific strategies of branding and presentation in their responses to this pervasively marketed environment. Representing a range of media-sculpture, video, installation, sound, painting, and photography, the works are compelling and provocative, nudging us to "re-view" our culture with an appraising eye.