Annika Ström_From the Community Hall_ Temple Bar Gallery+Studios (TBG+S)_Dublin_  10 December_2010 – 7 February_2011.

Image courtesy of the artist_

Highly personalised but universal narratives inhabit Annika Ström’s short films and performances. There is a feeling of the home and unrequited love in her film portraits of her family, especially of her mother, Anna Ström. They register like the shock-smile one gets when one finds old family photographs that have been disappeared to the bottom of the suitcase of our itinerary lives.


All my dreams have come true portrays Ström’s mother ironing while being directed by her daughter in Swedish, how to say “All my dreams have come true” in English. The short film poses questions about life and the dreams that we desire from youth to old age, some realised or lucked upon, others left by the wayside—just too late. Ström’s mother in some ways is left exposed: “All my dreams have come true” is both a question(?) and a statement(!), depending on how you have lived your life up to a certain reflective endpoint.


Another more socio-conceptual side to Ström’s practice was performed at Frieze Projects (2010), an event that the Guardian art critic Adrian Searle phrased as the “Fool in the King’s Court.” Ström hired ten actors to act embarrassed; a moving male maul to signify the general underrepresentation of female artists at the fair, and beyond.


For contrasting reasons rather than similarities, Ström’s art reminds one of Ceal Floyer’s, especially the latter’s Nail Biting Performance (2001), when the artist literally bit her nails on the stage of Birmingham Symphony Hall, immediately prior to a concert. But, whereas Floyer exhibits a cold and brilliantly quick conceptualism, Ström’s work floats between art and life, and offers the viewer a vantage point for both to exist in the same space.



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JANUARY_2011_


A Game of Three Halves


ANNIKA STROM_From the Community Hall_Temple Bar Gallery+Studios (TBG+S)_Dublin_

10 December_2010 – 7 February_2011_

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