Manual is an installation by Studio Julian Hetzel. An intervention on IKEA instructions.
The work consists of a series of illustrations on an existing IKEA brochure. A pile of copies of hacked instructions are on display next to the actual object: an original Gjöra bed.
Every eighth child in the EU was conceived in an IKEA bed. One in five is missing a screw. IKEA is a multinational corporation that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, with a large fan base all across the Western and Asian world. IKEA is the new Bauhaus, the company seeks the possibility for everybody to have access to well designed and affordable domestic objects. IKEA is also a cultural entity, an economic force and an icon of global standardisation. Part of IKEA’s economic success relies on minimising costs, delegating to customers the assembling task. Easy to make – easy to break.
IKEA sells a perfect family vision, constructive and positive – Manual introduces alternative images that queer and distort reality, a new iconography fuelled by absurdity, violence and destruction. Manual promotes the creative freedom of the customers and their imagination. It is a piece about potentiality, about everything that is not there.
Manual is a subversive gesture about value creation through transformation. The instructions offer a playful invitation to the audience for alternative scenarios to happen. The free copies of the instruction manual are an invitation trip on alternative scenarios and to do it yourself.