The Wonderful World with IKEA
THE WONDERFUL WORLD WITH IKEA
The Wonderful World with IKEA is a reaction to the omnipresence objects bought in IKEA. IKEA is a phenomenon, like many other similar phenomenons. Its products are surrounding, forming and changing the appearance of the environment we live in. The impact of this kind of aspects can be easily generalised. The goal of this work is to provoke a different look on objects that are connected with our everyday life. Tiny things we use without knowing where they come from and what we declare by using them. The endless number of topics to think about, offered by our lifestyle and surrounding world.
My work is composed of three objects of rectangular shapes. The surfaces of all objects are black and highly reflecting. Inside they are hiding their coimage that work as skeleton for each of them. The models are the most common IKEA products that gave dimension to its black caskets. The objects can be divided to the skeleton and exterior black case.
Group Exhibition FFA Graduates 2013
The Brno House of Arts, Brno, Czech Republic, 2013
Photo by Michaela Dvořáková
The Wonderful world with IKEA is a reaction to the omnipresence objects bought in IKEA. IKEA is a phenomenon, as many other similar phenomenons. Its products are surrounding, forming and changing the appearance of the environment we live in. The impact of this kind of phenomenons (in our case IKEA) can be easily generalized. The goal of this work is to provoke a different look on objects that are connected with our everyday life. Tiny things we use without knowing where they come from and what we declare by using them. The endless number of topics to think about, offered by our lifestyle and surrounding world.
Originally Scandinavian, today international concern IKEA is selling furniture for homes and offices for extraordinary low prices, in legendary flat boxes. Yellow-blue Swedish colours, meat balls and unintelligible names, are engraved in heads of people of developed world as easily decodable hieroglyphs. Not always easy the process of gaining a strong position on the market helped to develop slightly bombastic history and a lot of tiny mythical stories about company.
On one hand, the company, that raised our living standards and “aesthetized” many households. On the other hand, the company that unified our homes so much, that it is not difficult to encounter completely same furniture in several homes at once. The seller, whose products and policy divided society to two groups: the absolute fans and the absolute opponents.
My work is composed of three objects of rectangular shapes. Two of them freely standing and one hanged on a wall. The surfaces of all objects are black and highly reflecting. Inside they are hiding their coimage that work as skeleton for each of them. The models are the most common IKEA products that gave dimension to its black caskets. The objects can be divided to the skeleton and exterior black case.
Someone could easily perceive the objects as minimalistic ones. However the opposite is true! Carl Andre, classic of minimalism, describes his work as atheistic one, because it does not have any transcendental form and any spiritual and intellectual features, as materialistic one, because it assumes nothing else except its own material and it does not want to imitate any other material and as communistic one, because its form is equally and easily reachable for everyone. However I speak about my work as about transcendental one, because it contains, hidden in its form, the contents connected with such big religion as IKEA is.
It is hiding what for many people has many connotations. Material, that on the first look seems to be luxury and posh, is only an illusion. Medium-density fibreboard (the cheapest possible material) with good looking facade – good looking design, bad material. The last point is clear. Not everyone is able to listen, judge and evaluate artistic concept. Not everyone is affected by IKEA, not everyone perceives it as following a corporation. It does not have to be always a „problem“.
The most important moment of the whole project is the change of the status. Creation of unique “sarcophagus” for an object of mass production – one of the globally produced furniture becomes a part of unique, authentic object and authorship. The transformation of one of the objects from mass produced series to the skeleton of an artistic project. Product of mass production is giving dimensions to the unique object – is directing the process. And finally, during the creation of unique case, for the first time the product of mass production comes closer to human scale: one piece of furniture versus one carpenter.
The project treats of several different topics like: contrast between serial and original, work and exhibition, creation and production, intuition and rationality, history and present.
To avoid the “ikeanismus”, to create atmosphere of an exhibition. Such approach is also possible. Me, as an author, I do not deny this way of looking on these objects. The final solution can be taken as dark parody of both. IKEA, closed in black “sarcophagus”, an “ideal” object pretending to be something different. Taking this explanation as first, please do not forget about further and deeper layers.
Now we will go again through the layered atmosphere of the work, up to its surface. I see three pedestals. The artistic objects have not been put on them yet. Could it be considered as institutional critique? We all know the emptiness in gallery, as well as the moment when pedestal become the centre of attention. The pedestal that absorbed the object it should support. It was one of the lines of thoughts that guided the creation of this piece. To get rid of the visual. To burry already explored. To close everything in a black box. Information will be uncovered only by a person the problem concerns.
We enter the domain of investigative approach that was necessary for creation process but the result had to take a different form. Its own. The work does not want to didactically explain everything. It wants to contain information (as has been already mentioned: serial and original, unique object and product of mass production, one piece of furniture and one carpenter, plus whole critics and research of IKEA). The closest to the surface is the layer that plays with spectators’ intuition. We receive several indications: name, location and measurements. After that the objects close themselves and do not give any other information (to get them we would have to open the black boxes). Hermetic core that gives us indications thanks to our subconscious, non-implanted and probably not wanted experience. The intuitive elements that give us perception far away from intellect. These sensations, even if they are only partly decoded by sharp-witted person, quickly turn his or her thoughts to the questions of corporate structures, globalized world and unification of the objects. Furthermore these thoughts are bringing us in tautological loop to the beginning of the idea.
Text by mfc.