March 2, 2011

'Do-It-Yourself Existential Individualism'

Frieze's 20-year retrospective of itself continues apace, and wow, it's like running into an old flame on a train platform.

I hadn't thought about Daniel Birnbaum's 1996 essay, "IKEA at the End of Metaphysics" in years, but wow, it's just all flooding back.

From a Heideggerian perspective IKEA best sellers such as 'Billy', 'Ivan', and 'System 210' do not represent a corruption of everyday life, but have merely formalised what is already there; the IKEA catalogue only makes the tendency towards uniformity more conspicuous. Heidegger's global 'levelling' is not a critique of the common forms of everyday life as such, but of their passive acceptance. At the end of metaphysics, levelling is complete - no one questions the catalogue.
Obviously--well, now it's obvious, anyway--my own Ikea X Enzo Mari mashup project has its origins in the critical perspective of the company and its ideology which Birnbaum mapped out 15 years ago, and which I absorbed.

Also, I'm reminded how I miss Jason Rhoades.

IKEA at the End of Metaphysics [frieze.com/20/ via ronald jones]

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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