Drawings while visualising pathways to homes with closed eyes
by both the artist and the subject
This project involves Bäcklund and another artist, who will be referred to as "the subject" in this context. The project took place at a neutral location in Berlin, where they spent five consecutive days and nights together, with no prior knowledge of each other.
"In Use", explore the implications of a collaboration where one participant lacks agency in the decision making process. The artist (Bäcklund) signed a contract agreeing to the subject's terms, which essentially places the latter in power while establishing the boundaries of the contract. However, the balance of power shifts entirely during the five-day duration of the project, as the subject has no authority over the actions taken.
These included collaborative and experimental cues, such as drawing, mimicking, and layering movements on a large screen, automatic writing, and somatic movement exercises. The artist provided the subject with diverse instructions daily. Additionally, the artist gave the subject her personal notebooks, sketchbooks and photographs from the past ten years for him to re-appropriate, cut through and reinvent new connections. The subject devised a plan for understanding and arranging the artist's material.
The act of cutting into the photographs and notebooks demonstrates a violent rupture and a remaking of what once was. The subject's and the artist's actions resulted in being displayed on a large wall in the area where they lived and worked for the entire five-day period.
Is a medium only a medium when in use?
When does a body become an instrument for someone else's use?