Barbara Ekström is a Swedish artist mainly working in the zone of exploring human perception. The idea is to find out why the world appears to us the way it does, learn about different views, and trying out alternative shapes for materials turning it into art. Science now holds the key to the genetic code of humanity, we have huge amounts of information about how the organism of the body works but when it comes to understanding the identity of man, his hope and dreams and why he is acting the way he does – answers are complex. Art is still the main tool when it comes to express the human mind.
Those ideas has formed several pieces trying to reveal the underlying structures of industrialism, urban development, true economy and basic human needs. The artist is also involved in art as the social structure of society.
In the artwork ”The square alphabet” short commandos from the online game Counterstrike is presented in the form of brick-stone castings hanging in the middle of the room like a wall.
The square alphabet was originally developed by Siberian prisoners as a way to communicate by knocking on the walls, leaving a message to a neighbour. Investigations that shapes the art is often made as site specific work like in "Jenseits"where the objects one by one left the exhibtion area and during a period of three weeks where presented as lightsculptures in the river Spree in Berlin.
”Out of order” is another piece that wants to find out what happens when the original purpose leaves the object and other forces takes over. An electric installation with lightswitches, alarmbells and wires was made out of silk so that the object where completely hollow, and installed in the former home of Jonas Ahlströmer who developed textile industry in Sweden.
This installation is constantly growing and does now consist of a number of things useless in their original purpose tuned into a hollow shapes of their former existence.
The art of navigation was investigated in installation called "Fog" consisting of models of the stars. The constructions were inspired by Polynesian sailors who developed the first nautical charts using shells linked together with reeds. In the figures of the stars each star was represented by a casting of a fingerprint, connected with thin sticks. Structures of string in a chaotic pattern represented eternity in which we are trying to make a map for the spaceship of mankind.
No installation is ever completely finished, art and life are in constant dialogue.
Existence needs space. Transparent or hollow objects have the potential of becoming something more than they already are.