REHEARSING THE REAL
Peckham24 (2019) curated by Tom Lovelace with artists; Larry Achiampong, Hitesh Ambasna, Erola Arcalís, Emma Bäcklund, Thom Bridge, Ramona Güntert, Sarah Howe, Steff Jamieson, Joshua Leon, and Sarah Pickering.
Within the broader group exhibition, Güntert, Arcalís, Leon and Bäcklund developed an installation that blur lines between research and creative outcome. It manifested as a dodecagon space in which essences of their individual practices merged to explore issues of presence, fragmentation, cohesion and rehearsal. The installation involved two essay performances created by Leon based on their months google drive conversations titled “Live Collaborative Essay #1 (La mesa de los Ausentes)” and “Live Collaborative Essay #2 (The Temporal Space)”. All their voices could be found embedded in the text of the scripts. As they simultaneously performed these, the space contained their individual art works. Personal books acted as props and as part of the performances.
Bäcklund's personal offering to the space Nymph Clasping Ankle consist of appropriated archival images and titles for image categorisations from Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas and Warburg Institute's online photographic library, exploring iconology and the ‘performative body’ through gesture, mimicry, repetition and language. Carefully-placed magnifying glasses isolate and enlarge certain parts of images (for instance a hand or knee). The action of combining these elements thus becomes the work.
In her research into Aby Warburg’s image atlas, she considered the Nymph's metamorphic quality, as the Nymph is both a cause and the object of transformation. For Bäcklund, this symbolises how the group want to treat the image: as a fluxuous thing that is not confined to a static or flat space.