Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 9, 2012.

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Happy Inside is a book project by artist Amy Lombard of photographs made in the showroom of IKEA.

*** UPDATE: If we reach $6,000 we'll be able to make the book wider, and printed/shipped at Oddi in Iceland with a foiled cover.

A little over a year ago I ventured out to IKEA Brooklyn. What did I come out with? A cinnamon bun, some shelves, and oddly enough a photography project that would evolve into my first book, Happy Inside.

Tell us about the book.

I’ve spent the last year traveling to different IKEA’s in the United States. I’ve thought long and hard about how I ultimately saw the work playing out. It became very clear to me that this work was meant to function by itself in book form.

The book will be fairly large in size, roughly 8.5 x 11. It will consist of about 50-60 photographs made in the last year from different IKEA’s across the United States -- it will be printed offset in Brooklyn and we'll have particular care for the kind of paper since it's a very selective collection of pictures.

What is Happy Inside?

Happy Inside is a series of photographs made in the showroom of IKEA. 

To elaborate a little more on the project — As a photographer, I am not necessarily 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. Everything within the space is meticulously planned, and items are intentionally placed to create a certain effect. This simulation of the home not only sells the product, but most importantly, lends itself to the idea of selling a possible life. These rooms are built for the sole purpose of interaction; what I am interested in photographically are these interactions.

As apart of one of their recent campaigns, 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.

In this day and age, similar to these cats, we too actively live our lives in the pursuit of comfort in any given situation. This “possible life” that I had mentioned — it’s sleek, desirable, and an aesthetic all on its own — needless to say, we are drawn to it. This shell of a room has the power of giving you a very real sense of privacy in a very public setting. So we act just as these cats do, we treat the space as if it were our own.

A young girl laying in bed, a boy playing video games, a couple fighting in the bedroom... It’s hard to believe some of these photographs were taken in IKEA. The red price tags become so subtle that the photographs have a way of coercing the viewer into believing they are an accurate portrayal of domesticity. There is a certain degree of empathy involved, nostalgia even. It’s as if I have have seen these photographs before, or perhaps been the person in the photograph. Yet despite this familiarity, the subject is unaware; these situations are not set up, planned, or preconceived. They are illusions of reality through the showroom of IKEA.

Teen Dream, 2011.

Xbox Live, 2011.

What will the layout of the book look like?

Well, that's lovely that you ask.  Daniel Pianetti will be designing the book. While these are not definite, here's a look at some scans of the layout-in-progress.

Want to see more of the work? Head on over to my website.

If you are a bookstore interested in stocking this book, please get in contact with me and we can reserve copies of the book and arrange some sort of deal.

I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to look through my kickstarter pitch, and thank you in advance for all your support!

Any questions? Feel free to email me at amy@amylombard.com

Featured on Huffington Post: Amy Lombard's 'Happy Inside': Photographer Takes on IKEA Showroom

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