Gerhardsen Gerner

Annika Ström

20 Jan - 18 Feb 2012

Gerhardsen Gerner is very pleased to open the New Year with an exhibition by Annika Ström.

In addition to a selection of prints of various performance projects, a one-person theatre piece entitled The Swede, the Rehearsal will be shown for the opening of the exhibition. The play builds on an early video work by Annika Ström, Swedish Traveller from 1995.

Annika Ström will herself direct the rehearsal with Swedish actress Carina Westling.

In her performances, Ström frequently connects mundane topics with interpersonal or family relation-ships. For Anna Ström & Annika Ström (1995), for instance, she invites her mother for three days to a Berlin gallery, so that she (Ström) could become the subject of her drawings.

Up to this point the artist had performed rows of songs, to which she wrote both music and lyrics, herself. Meanwhile, she commits her soundtracks, concerts, videos and performances to other people.

This is the case in works such as Ten Embarrassed Men (2010), where Ström dispatched ten equally dressed, embarrassed-looking men for several days to frequent Frieze art fair, in an attempt to highlight the low number of female artists represented there and to disperse a persisting feeling of widespread embarrassment in this context.

For Seven Women Standing in the Way (2011), Ström delegated to seven women the task of blocking the entrance during the exhibition’s opening and to literally get in the way of other visitors.

Dirk, the Stand-in (1997) emerged as Ström was asked to give a concert and was looking for a stand-in. She consequently went to a music library to post a note in search of an opera singer, who was to interpret the soundtrack to her video, Artist Musical (1997). Forward came Dirk, who graduated from the auditions on Ström’s coffee table and went on to sing the songs of her soundtracks, as was to be expected from an opera singer.

Ström staged The Upset Man (2011) during an exhibition opening at Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin. A handwritten script, Let's Talk About What We Never Said Song, had been positioned at the back of a stage, which was adorned with Swedish embroidery. An actor performing by the script was trying to discuss his relationship problems during the official opening speech, engrossed in a telephone con-versation. Not until the end did the audience learn that this was in fact a performance by Ström.

Her performance project, Call for a Demonstration (2006), could eventually lead to the actual construction of a museum for contemporary art at Hove in the South of England: On June 24th 2006, Ström’s five-year old son Stellan had demonstrated together with other children for the construction of a museum in Hove. In a letter dated June 6th 2026, on the last page of her book also entitled Call for a Demonstration, Ström congratulates the museum director – who at four years of age had also participated in the demonstration – on the opening of the house. In her letter, Ström continues that she would like to donate the Super-8 black and white film, Call for a Demonstration, to the museum's collection to mark the occasion.

Tags: Annika Ström