Hello, Hej

If you’ve spent most of your adult life in Sweden and then moved abroad, it’s a moral imperative to locate your closest Ikea the second you come up for air.  It’s a law actually… in the Swedish constitution.  Given that subconscious mandate we find ourselves, from time to time, trying to come up with something to do on a Sunday and without even realizing what has happened we’ve driven to Burbank and we’re about to order meatballs.  It’s called a changeover.  The movie goes on and nobody in the audience had any idea what happened.  Tyler Svensson took over…  

And such was the case a couple weeks ago when I found myself, family in tow, once again at Ikea.  We weren’t shopping for anything in particular–just walking around looking at a ton of stuff that we really don’t need when I had an idea.  I realized that it would be fantastic to do a street style series in Ikea.  Seriously, it would be amazing.  Have you ever gone people watching at Ikea?  

It’s b-a-n-a-n-a-s.  

People do all kinds of crazy shit there constantly.  Jump in display beds and pull the covers over their heads, lay down on sofas with their feet dangling over the edges, fall asleep in the cafeteria with their face almost in their food, crawl into cabinets and wardrobes to check the size, study themselves in corridors filled with mirrors–it’s like they either don’t think anyone is watching or they just don’t give a shit   And that’s just the patrons.  There’s the whole warehouse that would be perfect to shoot on 8x10.  There’s the roof with the million solar panels that’s also aching to be a massive large format print.  The cafeteria and kitchen mass producing food as a long exposure.  Fleets of delivery trucks unloading those anonymous brown cartons and boxes.  This literally no bottom to the visual narrative you could create there.    

I shot out a whole roll there just as a test and when I got it back there were so many interesting images that I had difficulty editing them down to a series. In the end I figured it might be fun to post a small taste of what I’m thinking could be done.  These are all shot on Tri-X pushed to 800 at the Icon.  All on my Leica M7.  I think for the real thing I would want to do it 4x5 or 8x10 just for the sake of printing large.  I could even do it on the Hassy.  Need to think things through a bit more but I like where this is heading.   

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