The unofficial IKEA Residency in Los Angeles serves as a unique space for artists, writers, and creators. Blair-Schlagenhauf, one of the organizers, mentions that they are not worried about corporate eviction and cites “parody law” as a defense. The residency is distinct from IKEA’s official artist-in-residence program, which was launched earlier this year and features renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz. Shizuka Kusayanagi, a single mother transitioning from graphic design to painting, finds the IKEA Residency a place to connect with other artists and not feel isolated.
Angella d’Avignon, a freelance writer, is interested in the social dynamics that unfold at IKEA and plans to observe shoppers. Connor Walden and Krista Ramirez-Villatoro, another pair of artists, explore the paradoxes of IKEA as both aspirational and accessible. They also critique IKEA’s environmental impact, noting that the company consumes 1% of the world’s lumber annually.
The organizers are prepared to adapt to keep the residency alive. They may change its name to “Idea Residency” or even move to another retail space. Mary Boo Anderson, a co-creator, hopes the residency inspires others to create art in unconventional places without waiting for permission.