Richard Bolton: The Bear in the Marketplace: Anticommunism and Patriotism in Recent American Advertising

ShowingOctober 7, 1988 - November 27, 1988

In Richard Bolton’s provocative mixed-media installation, The Bear in the Marketplace, actual print advertisements, television commercials, photographs, charts, and texts will be incorporated into an unconventional visual essay which analyzes the influence of international politics and attitudes on the rhetoric and imagery of advertising during the Reagan era. 


Discussing the thesis of his project, Bolton explained: “If we are to understand the current state of democracy, we must look at how communication occurs (or doesn’t occur) in democratic nations. We must look particularly at advertising—the loudest voice in our lives. Anticommunism and patriotism have been used as a marketing device for everything from clothing to cigarettes, from hamburgers to batteries.” 


Public Events: 

(1) Artist’s Gallery Talk on Sunday, October 16, 1988, 3pm. 

(2) Public Preview October 6, 1988, 5 to 7pm. 

(3) Panel Discussion “Advertising/Politics,” with Richard Bolton and Stuart Ewen, author of Captains of Consciousness, Wednesday, November 2, 1988, 7:30pm, Bartos Theater. 

(4) Conference “Anticommunism and the U.S.: History and Consequences,” an international conference at Harvard University, November 11-13, 1988, organized by the Institute for Media Analysis

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