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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 wider group exhibition, Güntert, Arcalís, Leon and Bäcklund collaborated on an installation that blurs the boundaries between research and creative outcome. The installation took the form of a dodecagon space, within which the essence of each artist's practice merged to explore notions of presence, fragmentation, cohesion and rehearsal. The installation comprised of two essay performances, created by Leon from their months-long Google Drive conversations, entitled "Live Collaborative Essay #1 (La mesa de los Ausentes)" and "Live Collaborative Essay #2 (The Temporal Space)". Their individual voices were embedded in the text of the scripts, which were performed simultaneously while the space featured their individual artworks. Personal books were used as props and formed part of the overall performance.

Bäcklund's personal contribution to the space consists of appropriated archival images and image categorisation titles from Aby Warburg's Mnemosyne Atlas and the Warburg Institute's online photographic library. It explores iconology and the 'performative body' through gesture, mimicry, repetition and language. Carefully positioned magnifying glasses isolate and enlarge specific parts of the images, such as a hand or knee. The action of combining these elements thus becomes the work.

In her study of Aby Warburg's image atlas, she examined the Nymph's transformative characteristic since it acts both as a cause and a subject of change. 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.

Nymph Clasping Ankle_01.jpg
Nymph Clasping Ankle_03.jpg
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