Miriam Bäckström, Smile as if we have already won, 2012.

I recall seeing this piece quite a while ago in my first ever visit to the Artes Mundi show, I was fascinated by the piece then – and it has come back into my mind in relation to my current practice.

Image result for backstrom tapestry

Image result for backstrom tapestry

This piece is a large scale tapestry, produced from a photoshopped digital image. As well as exploring the relationship between traditional and contemporary ways of making, the work also may be connected to our current relationship to the ‘self’ and identity. The de-centred nature of the image, and the resistance of the placement of the subject point towards the de-centred nature of contemporary identity in a digital age.

The photograph is of a person standing in front of a series of mirrors, and then abstracted – when looking at the work it is difficult to locate the source of the reflections, and your eyes wonder round the work, attempting to place the body.

For me, this work is linked quite strongly with the de-centralization of the individual in a digital society. The individual no longer seems to exist as a whole, identifiable subject – but has instead relocated themselves to multiple places. As Baudrillard suggests in his writing, it is the network that has become a distinctive part of how we relate to the world in contemporary society – and so this could extend to our relation to one another. No longer concrete, people have begun to exist across multiple platforms and recreate and represent themselves multiple times and in multiple places.


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