Ikea (Call to Action)

Carved Ikea furniture components
Various dimensions

Ikea (Call to Action) pieces feature phrases from the Ikea website and those of similar home goods retailers. Rather than focus on advertising, as I do in much of my work, I wanted to explore the more subtle language that readers are exposed to merely navigating a website. Generic phrases, like “continue shopping” are a staple of user interface — they seem innocuous and go mostly unnoticed. By removing them from their context and reconfiguring them graphically, the Ikea pieces betray the propagandistic undertones of these little phrases. Detached from a particular product or company, these blunt imperatives become propaganda for the whole system of consumer capitalism.

The material’s shiny veneer is iconic Ikea, but also has precedent in Finish Fetish and other minimalist art movements of the 1960s and ’70s. Working subtractively heightens the sense of revelation and, of course, challenges the promises held in the flawless surface.