Octopus Press is a publishing platform of PLATO, a city gallery for contemporary art.

Annika Eriksson

Checking the Stove

  • video
    • 5’34”
    • 0’40”

Year of Creation: 2023
Place of Creation: Ostrava
Technique: Videoinstallation, two-channel video

Legend: The artist filmed turkeys on a semi-abandoned farm in Ostrava-Polanka nad Odrou and goats and sheep on the Duběnka farm. She compares their nervous behaviour in front of the camera to human obsessive-compulsive disorders, for example, constantly checking that appliances are switched off. The moving image work collages material from Eriksson's early video, 'Ett Familjeprojekt (1997), filmed with her children and punctuated by her question,“are you filming us now?” Same as the disorder the film footage repeats ad nauseum.

In collaboration with IASPIS, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee´s International Programme for Visual and Applied Arts

Special Thanks: European Union – Next Generation EU, Ministy of Culture Czech Republic, National Recovery Plan

Reportage form the exhibition Escaped, Found a Hideout, Still on the Run (Animal News).

Annika Eriksson is a Swedish artist who lives mainly in Berlin. During her residency in Ostrava she met many domesticated, semi-domesticated, feral and free animals and animal families. She talked with seagulls and storks at the OZO Ostrava landfill, with domesticated animals at the Duběnka farm in Hrabová, visited the inhabitants of a semi-abandoned farm in Ostrava – Polanka nad Odrou, a pigeon flock at the mall, and others. Of all the more-than-human beings Annika met, she brought a semi-free-living community of turkey hens and cocks to PLATO. She presents a double projection of the film in a specific installation, which is related in content to the temporality of the “liberated” farm. The artist has dealt with similar situations of animals and humans before, for example in a video in which a long shot follows a group of street dogs in the suburbs of Istanbul. The dogs, who have been relocated by the authorities to outlying areas outside of the expanding city, constantly move along the lines of gentrification and corporate development of the city. Through loops and repetition, the video links this process to the experience of time: it explores the present as a complex gap between past and future, in which an increasing process of erasure also removes other registers of being and seeing. Another video shows a group of formerly domesticated cats living together in a public park in Istanbul, their nocturnal activities and the people in the surroundings who take care of them during the day. Seemingly trapped in a state of collective paralysis, the group of cats live in a precarious situation on the border between care and dependence. Annika Eriksson’s work questions perceptions of time, power structures and once accepted social visions. She plays with debates about the public sphere and the structures that regulate it, revealing how it changes and is subject to unexpected appropriations and inversions.

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