Hijacking IKEA: Subverting Consumer Culture and the Family in Guy Ben-Ner’s Stealing Beauty

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Stealing Beauty is a video performance by Guy Ben-Ner, where he films himself and his family surreptitiously in IKEA's Berlin, New York, and Netanya (Israel) showrooms. Stealing Beauty uses American family sitcom conventions to criticize global consumer culture and its related fantasies. Focusing on Stealing Beauty’s secret process of production I argue that it employs anarchist-like strategies that hijacked the space of consumer culture and evoked Guy Debord’s and Hakim Bey’s anti-consumerist writings. Although this work circulates in international fine arts arenas and self- references itself as an art commodity, Stealing Beauty’s use of hoax and critical engagements are further analysed as sharing elements with cultural-jamming practices by being subversive in public spaces and media arenas. Also addressed in this article are the gendered ramifications of Ben-Ner’s performance as an artist and as a father and how he employs his family as a subversive collectivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-685
Number of pages15
JournalThird Text
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Third Text.


  • Guy Ben-Ner
  • IKEA
  • Na’ama Klorman-Eraqi
  • consumer culture
  • culture jamming
  • family
  • globalization
  • performance
  • sitcom
  • temporary autonomous zone
  • video art

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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