Fia Backström performs Fluid Sites – Haunted Debris: virtual, possible, viscirreal, with Mariana Valencia, March 31, 2018, 7pm
Fluid Sites – Haunted Debris: virtual, possible, viscirreal
The performance, like Backström’s exhibition, takes Harry Martinson’s space epic, Aniara, A Vaudeville on Mankind in Time and Space (1956) as its point of departure. Aniara is a spacecraft carrying refugees from a destroyed Earth to Mars. After a meteorite collision, the shuttle begins to drift aimlessly into dark space. Fragmented images from Earth are transmitted by Mima, a proto-artificial intelligence, to console the passengers. Eventually she cannot withstand the suffering and self-destructs, resulting in a post-image society.
In 1959, the epic was turned into an opera choreographed by Birgit Åkesson. During the 1970s, Åkesson travelled through east and west Africa to witness local dances, subsequently recorded in her book, Mask of the Spring Water (1983). These traditions — such as rites of passage; markers of conflict, death and birth; and ceremonies revering nature as a creative force and guide — have increasingly been erased from cultural memory because of socio-political conditions, ravaging natural resource conflicts, and devastation from the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Drawing from these two texts, Backström and Valencia will interpret the rituals developed on Aniara in the wake of Mima’s self-destruction.
Space is extremely limited; please arrive early or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Mariana Valencia (b. 1984) is a dance artist based in Brooklyn, New York. She has held residencies at Chez Bushwick (2013), New York Live Arts (2013–14), ISSUE Project Room (2015) and Brooklyn Arts Exchange (2016–18). Performance collaborations include works by Jules Gimbrone, Elizabeth Orr, Kate Brandt, A.K. Burns, Em Rooney, robbinschilds, Kim Brandt, and MPA. Valencia is a recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award to Artists grant (2018), a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant (2014–15), and a Yellow House Fund of the Tides Foundation grant (2010–13). She was co-editor of Movement Research’s Critical Correspondence, where she was also a Movement Research GPS/Global Practice Sharing Artist (2016–17). She is a founding member of No Total. Valencia holds a BA from Hampshire College, Amherst (2006), with a concentration in dance and ethnography.
Fia Backström (b. 1970, Sweden) is an artist based in New York, NY. Working in diverse mediums including photography, writing, installation, and performance, Backström agitates the social life of language and materials. Her practice maintains a longstanding inquiry into the glue of collectivity. Recent solo projects include The Shape of Co- to Come at ABF, Stockholm (2016), and ME have to be turned upside down to become WE at Zinc Bar, New York (2014). She has participated in group exhibitions at institutions such as MoMA PS1 (2015), MoMA (2010), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (2008) in New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2010); and Tranzit, Prague (2008). Backström was the subject of a survey at the Artist’s Institute in 2015 and represented Sweden in the 54th Venice Biennale (2011). Her work can be found in the collections of Moderna Museet and the Whitney Museum.
image: Fossil; x4.5 View (Food remains, unknown content, extracted from gap between teeth), December 14th, 2017, 2018, pigment print mounted on plexiglass, 17 1/4 x 20 1/4 inches (43.8 x 51.4 cm)