Fia Backström, born in Stockholm, was educated at University of Stockholm and Konstfack University College of Arts Crafts and Design (Stockholm) and at Columbia University (New York). For over the past ten years Backstöm has lived and worked in New York. Backström has become known for a number of exhibitions and performances, which she has staged in her home, in public spaces and at commercial galleries. In May, she will be presenting her first solo exhibition in Stockholm, at Marabouparken annex.
Fia Backström – Mmmore…
Fia Backström’s work highlights the parameters of what defines an exhibition; such as an artwork, a collaboration, or an audience. The generative logic of the work unfurls across a stretch of situations, usually of her own design, encompassing activities and their documentation, environments, gatherings, performances, artworks by other artists, her own texts, prints, recordings, readings, and ephemera. Through a development of format and display methodology, Backström engages peers and visitors in her excavations of the shifting faces of ideology, politics, advertisement and propaganda.
Since the mid-nineties, Fia Backström has participated in a large number of international exhibitions. Her work is currently included in the exhibitions Happiness of Objects (Sculpture Center, New York, 2007) and The Price of Everything (Whitney ISP, Hunter Graduate Center, New York, 2007). She is also a participant in the United Nations Plaza recidency project in Berlin.
The exhibition title Mmmore... plays on the satisfaction and the addiction that both sugar and images create in us. In addition to a selection of new and old works, Fia Backström will set up an outdoor happening in Marabou Park on June 3rd. Eco Day corporate-friendly get-together with a touch of the green movement of the seventies, relates ideas on recycling, life-style and “good” ideologies from a marketing perspective.
In Blonde Revolution (a fia backström production, New York, 2004) Backström confronts the self-conscious goodness and fake fairness of the art world, as displayed in so-called “minority-exhibitions.” The work consists of a manifesto and an environment, into which works by exclusively blonde artists has been lifted.
In lesser new york (a fia backström production, New York, 2005) Backström continues her investigation of display and what an artwork can be. She emphasizes the activity space of collaborations, minor publications, posters, sound works, etc, which according to the artist constitutes a crucial part of an art scene. Just as the distinction between the underground and the establishment is blurred, the logic of the display method, which here transforms the material into a hyper-decorative, form-and-colour coordinated wall newspaper, fuses a strategy of communist propaganda with the seduction of commercialism and shopping.
A New Order for a New Economy – to Form and Content (A proposal to re-arrange the ads of Artforum, Andrew Kreps Gallery, White Columns, Whitney Curatorial Studies, New York, 2006–2007) investigates content displacement via formal qualities. Backström rearranges the ad pages of the world’s largest art magazine; Artforum, according to colour, form and theme. The commercial iconography of the art world, originally designed and arranged to give advertisers maximum visual impact through clashing contrast, is streamlined and redirected into categories such as “animals”, “crying and laughing men” and “collectivism.”
In Herd instinct 360° (New York, 2005-2006), the darker sides of human collective behaviour are investigated, in the art world as well as in society at large. During three Sunday afternoons, Backström staged a situation with sacred undertones, including lectures, performances and common meals. In Marabouparken annex, this environment will be partially re-created. On Sunday May 13th Backström will enact her performance Herd Instinct 360° followed by a screening of the talks included in the initial gatherings.
Herd Instinct 360°