Miriam Bäckström was born in 1967 in Stockholm, where she currently resides and works. Bäckström has studied at Konstfack in Stockholm.
The work of Bäckström is driven by an intense study of the symbiotic and oscillatory relationship between image and reality in the human psyche.
Bäckström works across various media, including photography, theatre, installation, performance, film and written text. Her early work as a conceptual photographer involved technically precise depictions of interior spaces – such as apartments and museum galleries – where the human figure was eerily absent yet the human presence uncannily palpable, like stage-sets in search of their characters.
While maintaining a technically meticulous execution, Bäckström’s work with moving images has tended toward theatre and the theatrical – such as dramas, films and videos and collaborative performances – in which she often blurs the line between documentary and non-documentary narrative constructs.
Bäckström utilizes but at the same time undermines the conventions of story-telling and art-exhibiting, reversing the roles between author and subject, audience and performer, public and private, fact and fiction, in order to investigate the subtle web of connections linking identity, memory and reality.
Selected solo exhibitions include Ludwig Múzeum, Budapest (1999); IASPIS, Stockholm (2004); Lunds Konsthall, Lund, Sweden (2012) and Marabouparken Konsthall, Stockholm (2017). Group exhibitions include Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg, Sweden (1999, 2008); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2000, 2006, 2011, 2014); Schweizerisches Architekturmuseum, Basel (2002); Royal College of Art, London (2004); Malmö Konsthall, Malmö, Sweden (2004); Nationalmuseum, Stockholm (2008); Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (2010) and Artipelag, Stockholm (2012, 2014). Bäckström participated in the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival 2005, and together with artist Carsten Höller she represented Sweden during the Venice Biennale that same year.
Her work can be found in the collections of Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Museum Folkwang, Essen; Hasselblad Foundation, Gothenburg; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Tate Modern, London.
Photo: Hilma Bäckström.