The US is the focus of Linda Bäckström's first separate exhibition in Stockholm at the Wetterling Gallery. Her sculptures in seal foam and aluminum represent objects that leads your thoughts to roadmovies and old western films, the great freedom and romantic nationalism, the belief in weapons and kitsch aesthetics, but also the unbroken desire to push civilization further and to be the best.
The exhibition, entitled Jewels, consists of wall and floor sculptures as well as installations depicting some of the most important symbols of the American dream. The presentation is framed by an installation with a large motor bathed in colored spotlight and a rising horse at the other end of the gallery. In between we meet horseshoes and sheriff's stars, gearboxes and weapons.
“I have always been fascinated by the self-assured grandness in the image of the United States, both in their self-perception but also from the outside. The dream of freedom and the belief that everyone can succeed is something that is deeply rooted in their culture and finds its expression in many image symbols. "
Linda Bäckström depicts a traditional masculine world, characterized by the romantic idea of open spaces and the lonely cowboy. In Jewels she brings together various well-known images, such as in the sculpture Saddle Tramp. A classic horse saddle is assembled with a chopper's significant front wheel. There are two different horsepower that meet here, which are still about the same dream: freedom.
“My show is a bit about the same thing as Easy Rider,” says Linda Bäckström. "It is a visual journey through a country with an incredible number of faces and contradictions. It shows different aspects and looks for something that can be summed up as the American dream but which may not be real, but just a dream."
During a trip to USA this fall, Linda Bäckström has gathered impressions, clichés and images that have helped her to develop her own design of this dream, which is now presented at the Wetterling Gallery.