As a photographer, I have never been interested in staging reality so to speak— instead, what I am interested in is someone else’s idea of a staged reality. This very thought brought me to the highly constructed rooms that replicate the consumers “ideal home” in IKEA. As apart of one of their most recent campaigns, Happy Inside, IKEA conducted an experiment titled Herding Cats where they released 100 cats loose overnight in their Wembley location. Cats live their lives in the pursuit of comfort, so this experiment was to see how exactly the cats reacted once they were released in these constructed environments.
What did the cats do? They climbed on sofas, pranced throughout the rooms, slept on beds— treating the space as if it were indeed their own home. Similar to cats, we too live our lives in the pursuit of comfort in any given situation. These rooms are built for the sole purpose of interaction; what I am interested in photographically are these interactions. I’ve always been fascinated by the everyday, the moments that occur with or without the presence of a camera. These moments, the time when people are in these rooms shopping, are moments that otherwise go undocumented. As a product of our society and culture today, the lines between public and private have been blurred. In that moment, we treat the space as if it is our own.
When I look at the photographs they portray a convincing sense of domesticity. It’s as if I have seen these photographs before, or perhaps I have been the person in the photograph—and yet despite this familiarity, the subject is unaware. These situations are not set up, planned, or preconceived; they are simply illusions of reality through the consumerism of IKEA.
Amy Lombard (b.1990) was born and raised just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2008, Amy moved to New York to pursue her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Shortly after moving to New York, Amy was mentored by fine art photographer Amy Stein. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including The Collectors Guide to New Art Photography, 1626, and Esquire Russia. In addition to working as a photographer, she works for LIFE.com. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, and is exhibiting work internationally.
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