A Woman Standing Inside an Old Building / A Women Standing Outside an Old Building
video-documentation of the performance realized at the opening of the 53rd October Salon


Annika Ström made her first performance in 1995 with her mother Anna Ström in a Berlin gallery. Since then, she has given a lot of performances – being a singer, composer, synthesizer player. Later she started hiring other performers to act simple scenes or emotions instead of her; for example, at the Frieze Art Fair in London, when ten men were walking around looking embarrassed.

During her stay in Belgrade, where she came at the invitation of the curators of the 53rd October Salon, Branislav Dimitrijević and Mika Hannula, her main research area was the former Geozavod Building in Savamala (where the exhibition was held).

This old building, which kept so much history of the city, became the main subject of the performance made at the opening of the 53rd October Salon. During the performance, a woman (Marija Opsenica, actress and performer) was standing motionless, without any interaction with the people going in and out, first at the entrance of the old building, then outside it. Numerous visitors who came to the opening were passing by the woman, often not noticing her. The work is actually about our attitude towards history, about how we forget or are forced to forget. It appeared as if the woman, like the old building, was keeping a secret and history in herself.

At the 53rd October Salon, Annika Ström also presented two films and an inscription on the wall.

© Cultural Centre of Belgrade, October Salon Collection and the artist
Gift Contract: III-5-337/04.9.2018.
Inventory No. 1671
Photo: still from the video recording of the performance, courtesy the artist


Annika Ström (1964, Helsingborg, Sweden). Her work has developed through text, music, film and performance, often dealing with the subject of failure. She graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. From 1993 to 2005 she lived in Berlin, and then moved to London where she lives now. Her mother Anna Ström, who took part in Annika’s first performance in 1995, has been one of the main protagonists in the artist’s films ever since. Annika Ström also works on the production of music for the films she creates, and has performed many songs live. Her performances have been repeated several times in different places and spaces, and the one she presented at the Frieze Art Fair in London stands out, when ten men, dressed identically, walked the fair space together, giving the impression that they were uncomfortable and embarrassed of something. And the real reason for the performance was the fact that there were few women artists at the fair that year. More information at https://www.annikastrom.net/