Drawings while visualising pathways to homes with closed eyes
by both the artist and the subject
This work involves Bäcklund and another artist who in this context will be called "the subject". The project took place at a location in Berlin that was neutral to both parts. They had never met before and did not know anything about one another prior.
“In Use” explore the meaning of a collaboration when one of the participants lack agency within the decision making process. The artist (Bäcklund) had to sign a contract agreeing on the terms set by the subject.
While creating boundaries for the contract, the subject is essentially in power. However, throughout the duration this entirely switches as he has no authority in terms of the actions during the five days. Although the subject is invisible, he is also the artist's medium and in focus.
The artist gave the subject various instructions each day that included collaborative, experimental cues for instance; drawing, mimicking and layering movements through a large screen, automatic writing and somatic movement exercises. The artist also gave the subject her personal notebooks, sketchbooks and photographs stretching back ten years for him to re-appropriate, cut through and re-invent new connections with. The subject created a strategy of how to read and organise the artist's material. Cutting into photoraphs and notebooks shows a violent rupture and a remolding of what once was. Every action the subject and the artist undertook ended up on a large wall in the room of the space where they slept and worked throughout the duration of the five days.
Is a medium only a medium when in use?
When does a body become an instrument for someone else's use?