Power And Powerlessness (III)

The screening at Tempo documentary film festival is drawing near. The program was worked out together with Catrin Lundqvist from Moderna Museet. In the program, the two films by Annika Eriksson (Staff at Moderna Museet) and Saskia Holmkvist (Interview with Saskia Holmkvist) are both part of the collection at Moderna Museet, and both of them have also been recorded at the museum.

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Annika Eriksson, Staff at Moderna Museet, 2000. The staff at the museum introduced themselves and gathered in front of a stationary camera. © Annika Eriksson

Staff at Moderna Museet begins with a shot of one of the exhibition spaces of the Museum. One after another members of the staff enters the room and state their name and position, and find somewhere to sit. The room is slowly filled up. At the end of the film the staff are gathered in a group portrait, which gives a documentary feeling as well as a historical picture of a workplace in constant change. As a visitor in a museum you only see the art and not the person working with it. Annika Eriksson plays with the rules of the museum when she exhibits its staff, thus making them the art. Her films clearly show the individual behind the impersonal and the tradition-bound history that museums usually have.”

– partially quoted from the website of Moderna (text modified by the artist)

(http://www.modernamuseet.se/stockholm/en/exhibitions/annika-eriksson/)

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Saskia Holmkvist
Interview with Saskia Holmkvist, 2005
© Saskia Holmkvist

Interview with Saskia Holmkvist, 2005, is an interview with the artist in which she talks about the film we are just about to see. She explains that it is about issues to do with credibility and authenticity. But she is interrupted by the interviewer who, instead of asking the next question, comments on her body language and her manner of expression. The whole thing turns into a tortuous process in which the Saskia Holmkvist in the film tries to comply with the admonitions of the “coach”. This work is commenting on an art scene which is under such intense pressure and where success is increasingly dependent on a professional presentation of one’s own artistic achievements. At the same time it is mirroring a trend in society as a whole, in which the ego is becoming more and more of a trademark and apparently spontaneous comments and documentary images are the product of meticulous repetition and reconstruction.”

– quoted from the website of Moderna

(http://www.modernamuseet.se/stockholm/en/exhibitions/the-moderna-exhibition-2006/participating-artists/the-artists/saskia-holmkvist/)

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