Miriam Backstrom | the artist
The artist Miriam Backstrom
Born 1967, Stockholm, Sweden.
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Original artworks, prints, exhibition posters, monographs, books, collectibles.
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Set Constructions Series S014
Miriam Backstrom’s work has over the years largely been associated with photography, examplified in her series of works Estate of a Deceased Person, 1992-1996, Set Constructions, 1995-2002, and Museums, Collections and Reconstructions, 1999-2004, which all deal with the representation of reality and the reading and interpretation of images. Backstrom’s photographs question the veracity of photography by exposing a staged reality and creating doubt on the immediacy of the image. The series mentioned are all characterized by the absence of people, yet they often discuss different approaches to portraiture. This field of interest Backstrom has continued to investigate in her more recent work that has marked a change of both medium and content, including text and book-, sound- and film works.
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…
Miriam Bäckström and Carsten Höller waded into Miltons lyrical forewarning with their brooding exhibition Den Sista Bilden (The Last Picture). Uplifted by an idea that is simplicity itself, they managed to set off bouts of desire, temptation and caution…
I can answer your questions, if you tell me what to say.
These are just a few of the lines uttered by Rebecka, the woman sitting in front of the camera being interviewed by a voice (Miriam Bäckström). Convinced, and ostensibly genuine, she answers the questions, at times clearly rifling through papers that apparently provide some kind of script. As the interview progresses, we become more and more confused by the person before us. After having been given different answers to the same question repeated twice , the character makes us suspect that she is not per se the woman we see. In between questions, the interviewer directs Rebecka with more physical instructions such as Put your hair up again. Go and do it properly.