Stockholm, May 10, 2003 - June 19, 2003
Apartments II is a series of new photographs by Miriam Bäckström. The show consists of 20 framed photographs of identical size (48 x 55 cm), each depicting a singular view into a home. The Apartment series is an on going project, which she started in 2000.
Apart from the subject matter, Apartments share a number of common features with Miriam Bäckström's previous works; an absence of people and an ordinarily furnitured home environment. The scene seems to have been shot in an everyday state; a glove on the floor, a vacuum cleaner standing in the corner, forgotten toys lying around. Cables or unidentified pieces of furniture may appear in the corner of the image as if the frame turned out to be larger than expected.
It is especially this latter aspect, which can be described as being an intentionally hopeless act of rendering the picture "objective", and hence a true representation of the represented, which is typical of her work.
Miriam Bäckström works in a style that resembles documentary photography. She is interested in how history is told, how our memories are created and recreated, how memories are arranged both photographically and in museums. She photographs her subjects straightforward, without touching anything and using only existing light. This forms a link between her images and the hopes and expectations we have come to have from photography-the photograph as an impression of reality and as a means of capturing a moment that has passed.
But Bäckström's images are not about reality-meaning, that for which it is possible to provide an equivalent representation. Quite the opposite. By (as in earlier works) depicting hyper real constructions of someone's private home or constructions used as backgrounds in movie and advertisement sets she emphasizes foremost all what is not there, what is excluded.
The absence of life forms some sort of vacuum in the middle of the picture and it is quite remarkable how her negative approach in the end becomes a very personal, subjective, even intimate matter. Her apartments functions like mirrors. The rooms reflect more than they actually depict. What you see is not really a glimpse of somebody's home, as the usual representation of his or her personality, but more yourself standing there, looking at it. Through her insistence on absence she personalizes the view and creates an awareness of the difference between viewer and picture.
The images from the Apartments series will eventually become part of the archive of a Swedish film production company and serve as reference material for the construction of film sets.
Miriam Bäckström was born in 1967; she lives and works in Stockholm. This is her first exhibition at Galerie Nordenhake.