21 June 2001 - 28 July 2001
Opening Reception 21 June 2001 8pm
IKEA Living Project Series, 1999-2001.
IKEA Living Project Series started with Shinobu Akimoto‘s do-it-yourself construction of small furniture based on IKEA designs selected from IKEA catalogues. The artist has also purchased furniture and products from IKEA, and altered them or simply integrated them with her handmade furniture. The configuration of the installation of IKEA Living Project Series is site specific and changes from venue to venue. At Mercer Union, Shinobu Akimoto constructs a showroom within the gallery space, which contains her handmade and readymade furniture.
The term IKEA Living in the title signifies neither an image of middle class living nor the materialism/consumerism in our culture. It is a term that the artist has adopted to “refer to the lifestyle in which the peculiar mentality and problems pertaining to artmaking and the art world do not exist”. This deliberative proposition of dichotomous consciousness, which appears to contradict her quotation of our various daily activities in her art practice, is a necessary strategy in re-investigating the significance of yet another activity, artmaking. The do-it-yourself of ‘IKEA-like’ objects in this installation is intended to function as an index both for the artist and the viewers to contemplate the obscure mechanism behind the designation and perception of artmaking and daily living.
“One of the most interesting aspects of this present work is that it foregrounds the artificiality of the notion “lifestyle” in relation to both the insidious marketing strategies of the housewares company and to the production of the subjectivity of the artist.”
– Patrick Mahon