in Marginalia

Jochen Gerner is alive

As much as I extol the comicness of IKEA manuals, I’ve never satisfyingly appropriated them as comics (except for half-jokes like this and this). No need, though – we already have Jochen Gerner’s home (ikea 2008):




The subtitle is ikea 2008, but the work is from 2009 – using the previous year’s IKEA catalogue as a source template. I really like Gerner’s stubborn erasure of all furniture, rendering this furniture almanac essentially functionless. For a company like IKEA that boast functionality as one of their key virtues, that’s rather disempowering, but Gerner’s reworking does at the same time highlight the nameless designers of the catalogue. More pages on the artist’s website.

Gerner is an artist that I’ve been aware of since his formalist Tintin remix book TNT en Amérique, and my interest was further peaked by his amazing accordion book Grand vitesse. I’d praise his Contre la bande dessinée as well,  but although I own it and leaf through it regularly, there’s simply far too much French for me to understand in there.

That particular language gap has also kept me from staying up to date with Gerner’s work. I only recently discovered his website – apparently, appending .com to his name was a puzzle ten years in the solving to me – but I was happy to see that his work appears to be quite well published and exhibited. When you live in an information bubble, it’s comforting to see that good people outside it do well!

Preemptive sidenote: by “information bubble” I mean lack of French languange skills. Please don’t use the comments to advise me about social media – I don’t need to be on Facebook, you people need to be on the Internet…

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