Fia Backström

White Columns

The prodding began before you entered Swedish artist Fia Backström’s most extensive New York show to date, “That social space between speaking and meaning”; primary-colored vinyl lettering adorned the gallery’s front door, spelling out multiple directives, including STAY AHEAD OF THE IMAGES, placed directly below the open sign—both an impossible task and a playful gesture. According to the press release, such a tactic was central to the gallery-size installation, its somewhat iffy premise being that it was “an environment without any ‘images’ that takes the form of a discussion club: a space to be socialized through informal and formal meetings, gatherings and readings.” Neither a typical group show nor strictly speaking a solo show, Backström’s endeavor maintained an in-between form, where artworks and texts by a host of artists were inserted into an overall design by Backström that

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