University of Tasmania
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From Market Place to Superstore: The connections between retail product, advertising method, popular culture and art. A study focused on a Harvey Norman store in Launceston, Northern Tasmania.

posted on 2023-05-26, 09:36 authored by Broad, E
From Market Place to Superstore reflects on 21st century retail presentation of home furnishing consumer goods. In particular the artwork focuses on the lounge suite. Inside the Harvey Norman superstore, which stands on the site of a 19th century colonial marketplace, the retail space with its ironically palace-like dimensions is divided into a series of tableaux of methodically ordered furniture. Carefully chosen colour-coordinated accessories are arranged and lit by softly glowing lamps promoting seductively comfortable home scenarios. Glossy catalogues take the production line furniture beyond the store to demonstrate the almost seamless retail/home experience. Still life settings interact and merge with contemporary lifestyle expectations. Merchandise can be the substance of desire.\ \ The research artwork sought to capture an art image from retailing, advertising and specific elements derived from popular commercial TV lifestyle programs. The concept of the work was to ascertain if the lounge-suite-as-image retained its aura of aesthetic expendability and collapsed into contemporary art when transferred to the white box of the gallery space. To this end digital photographs, miniaturised models, video and actual merchandise were installed in the gallery space. Using varying scales and tactility the viewer was asked to engage in an alternative retailing experience within the Academy Gallery, University of Tasmania at Inveresk.


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