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Don't Delay, Act Now 

Wednesday, Jan 7 1998
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"Ghettoblaster/L'il Darlings" is an exhibit, but it's set up like a trade show, with two faux advertising campaigns designed to sell products ranging from mouse pads to whiskey. Artists Jim Schatz and Lisa Undercoffler, who met as lackeys at a corporate consulting firm, take aim at corporate marketing machinations with these campaigns, which illustrate how people who feel sorry for, or empathize with, a certain demographic can be persuaded to buy something completely unrelated based on images of that group. In "Ghettoblaster," which began as a spoof of the Benetton campaign, the artists overlaid stock images from corporate materials with photos of themselves in blackface, then created an accompanying catalog, demonstrating how corporations really see the "average black consumer." With "L'il Darlings," Schatz and Undercoffler scanned images of actual teen fugitives off the Web, then created a product line around them, including a catalog with their background information. Consumers can have items from Walgreens imprinted with the fugitive with whom they identify most; the background info, says Schatz, lends that "air of danger and destruction" that especially appeals to teen buyers. The show opens Saturday with a reception, and servings of "Ghettoblaster" whiskey, at 8 p.m. at Space, 1141 Polk (at Post), S.F. Admission is free; call 674-1997.

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Heather Wisner

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