Textrum is a room of text, or for text, in Swedish. In English it can relate to tantrum, in the form of a temper text message.
Project Textrum is directed to examine collective formations and their impact, carried out through artistic writing as a joint project and a shared practise. Visual artists Freja Bäckman (FI) and Liv Strand (SE) initiated this project in 2018 by applying for the Nordic Art Association's (NKF) guest studio.
During 2019 Freja and Liv have engaged in parallel writings. They evolve methods for artistic writing by discussing texts at a monthly dead-line for essays/texts/attempts. The project is coming together in these facilities for a working period between Liv and Freja, and with a three-day workshop together with invited fellow artists Elske Rosenfeld (DE), Sille Storihle (NO) and Ulrika Gomm (SE). Towards the end of the residency there will be a public event presenting and discussing Textrum.
The exploration of text and artistic writing bifurcates into form and content: the language, tone and narrative drive is one direction and the other the themes involved. We share general questions as how to work creatively by agencies distributed among more than one author. Both of us have engaged in how to convey artistic research.
The themes evolves out of shared and reoccurring interests in aspects of collective formations, commons, the becoming of groups and (sections of) societies. How the structures of a nation state make it hard to create new procedures (together) and how advanced it is to get fantasy and imagination to be something more than an individual task. Through Textrum we are touching upon questions related to democracy and the agency that comes along, the movements within and outwards creating spaces of common claims of belongings. What agencies do we recognise, what behaviour benefit collectives, can these be widen by negotiations?
Freja Bäckman works as an artist and educator based in Berlin and is doing a doctorate at the Department of Art at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Helsinki.
Their practice consists of workshops, text, performance, sound and installations concerned with and intertwined by collective formations. Recent projects and published work include I was told I chop wood like a ballet dancer (2015-ongoing) at District Berlin, Third Space in Helsinki and Repose in Krakow i.a. No play Feminist Training Camp (2016) at nGbK in Berlin; The Bright Lights of the Institution (2016 and 2018) at node gallery in Helsinki and published as CuMMA Papers #28. They have presented their research at How?Wow!Wow.. in Kassel, Politics of the Machine in Beirut and Nida Doctoral School at the Research Pavilion in Venice during 2019.