Annika Eriksson, People in Public Spaces, 2000 Video, 3 hours © Annika Eriksson/BUS 2006

Annika Eriksson

What is a social space? And how does one capture a public space? The work of Annika Eriksson is permeated by relational qualities in which the social and economic patterns characterising the public sphere loom large. Another recurrent feature is the relationship of individuals to their work and their places of work, and how the sense of identity is formed there – frequently with the focus on groups that normally have no chance to speak.

People in Public Spaces is a kind of video archive based on the documentation of activities in the public sphere. With meticulous care Eriksson manages to capture situations in which people have made use of this sphere for their own purposes, demonstrations, celebrations or performances, for example. The work develops into an investigation of the movements of people in this public sphere, which is gradually dwindling as a result of commercial interests.

Several of Eriksson’s works also have a performative character or are of a performative nature, particularly more recent works such as Do You Want an Audience? or Games Machine. In the former, people are offered the possibility of expressing their views in a context where they are guaranteed an audience. In the latter, young people are provided with a place for meetings and activities in an area where such places barely exist. In this way Eriksson succeeds in creating situations, in accordance with a principle of public access of a sort, which are greater than life itself.

Annika Eriksson

Born 1956 in Malmö.
Lives and works in Berlin.


Malmö Konstskola Forum, Malmö

Selected solo exhibitions

Games Machine, IASPIS, 51st Venice Biennale, Venedig/Venice [IT]

Do You Want an Audience?, Frieze Art Fair, London [GB]

Arbeitswelt, DAAD, Berlin, SwissRe, München och/and Kunstverein München [DE]

Selected group exhibitions

Tokyo-Berlin Berlin-Tokyo, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo [JP]och/and Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin [DE]

40 Jahre Videokunst, Museum der Bildenden Kunst Leipzig, Lenbachhaus München, Kunsthalle Bremen, ZKM Karlsruhe, K21 Düsseldorf [DE]

You Only Live Twice, Man in the Holocene/ Fortescue Avenue, London [GB]

Selected bibliography

Peio Aguirre, “Public Looking Glass” Works by Annika Eriksson, DAAD Berlin, IASPIS Stockholm, Revolver-Archiv für aktuelle Kunst Frankfurt, 2005.

Judith Schwarzbart, “Arbeitswelt about a project by Annika Eriksson”, Collected Newsletters, Kunstverein München, Revolver-Archiv für aktuelle Kunst Frankfurt, 2004.

Frans-Josef Petersson, “How Safe is Safe Enough?” NU-E#2, Stockholm, 2004.

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