A father washes invisible plates. The bookcase is full of the same book. A car registration number is announced in the background. All over there are hanging price tags.
Guy Ben-Ner’s work Stealing Beauty (2008) is seen as a part of Helsinki Photography Biennial in the Finnish Museum of Photography. The video is shot in guerilla style in several Ikea stores. Ikea furniture exhibitions function as Guy Ben-Ner’s home where in the video he and his family pretend to take showers, watch TV, go to sleep to the sample beds and turn off the lights. Sometimes the shoppers passing by end up as a part of the family’s daily routines, as participants of the performance.
The work is like a parody of a family sitcom or an advertisement. It combines playfully funny and serious thematics and criticises at the same time for instance consumerism and the concept of nuclear family. The questions asked by the children from their father about ownership and property create analogies to the global world and economy and ultimately the father’s lessons of life, ownership , ethics , family and love lead to children’s rebellious manifesto.
Guy Ben- Ner (1969) is an Israel-based artist. He lives and works in Tel- Aviv, Berlin and New York. The most recent works of Ben-Ner are parodic video works, in which he and members of his family perform.
Text: Leena Kuusisto