Wednesday, June 17, 2009

ikea as art

The theme for this year's Venice Biennale is 'Making Worlds', interpreted by the British installation artist Liam Gillick, representing Germany, as a kitchen of sorts. Waldemar Januszczak describes it entertainingly in the Sunday Times:

Filling the German bunker with a stripped-down Ikea kitchen that meanders dully through the rooms like an unpainted train set, Gillick is making his usual point about the banality of modern textures. Curators like his work because it offers them limitless opportunities for extensive displays of curator-speak. But I have never met a member of the public who enjoys a Gillick exhibition. The man is a world-class bore...

I felt that I had to see this kitchen, and found it here. And although indeed banal, it was a remembrance of things past: my only visit to Ikea (the Nottingham branch, since you ask, around the year 2000). Depicted above is my own piece of installation art from this visit. Curators will note that the tall pile of tiny bowls signifies the many, while the solitary one signifies the few. The rug signifies a rug, and the fact that it is nearly the same colour as the bowls (I must have been having an orange/yellow day) is an interpretation of the uniformity of existence. I call this work 'All I Own from Ikea".

To be fair, Gillick is quoted as saying that the kitchen is "between Ikea and something much more modern". But it is still true that I have no inclination to return to Ikea. Yes, some of their furniture and accessories are fine, and indeed lovely, and I applaud their use in many finely designed houses. But it is so large and ubiquitous a presence and so frequently used in whole house/apartment furnishing that it makes my heart sink, and I would rather feel that I have created my own space, or sourced it from a less dominant influence, even if it isn't a success.

Mind you, if anyone is going there anytime soon, please bring me back this rug. I'll cut off the Ikea label and no one will know.

1 comment:

  1. Then you clearly haven't tried the meatballs in their café.

    ReplyDelete

You're looking particularly well.

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