12.06 - 11.07 2021
It was over a year ago that Micky and I started discussing this exhibition and envisioning what it would become. I had questions for Micky about what she was currently doing with her work, about her photographs in general, and about how she was perceiving these last twenty-or-so-years of making photographs. We talked about photographic archives; what it feels like to bump into a photograph of a familiar face that has been sitting in a shoe box for a long time; about how it feels when you bump into an unfinished project that never became visible to the public; how it feels when you find a picture you took of someone you only briefly met at a bar, or on a boat — like Tatyana’s picture — and with whom you exchanged intimate details of your private lives for just that one night until you said goodbye forever. We talked for a while — about the way art can address things quietly; if not silently.
Micky’s photographs quietly represent her own life and encounters, in a way that is so characteristic of a certain kind of counterculture photography from the 90’s and 2000’s. This characteristic could seem anachronistic today — but I don’t think it is. Many ways of being and doing are possible; it’s a good thing. Thinking now about Micky’s life — and trying to articulate what characterizes it — conjures images/attitudes/ideas for me like: shoegaze; rave parties; a kind of rebellion that is somehow different (lesser known, less “expected”).
I asked: what is it that you [we] do with a camera? Could you select a few images and show them to us? These photographs are about being with people — actually. They’re about finding and having found a way to connect with people and (about) feeling close to them — just that. That feels important enough for me for now.
A LIST OF THINGS FROM THEN UNTIL NOW
A timeline of a part of life
a list of things that you may find familiar
Micky is riding a destroyed MBK metallic blue sky Booster; is slinging dad’s camera; selling weed to pay for studies and a nicer life; Juergen Teller; Nan Goldin; sitting down at the skatepark; Breaking the Waves; Sète; Kids
1998 black and white trees; time in the darkroom in Sète
Portishead Tricky Archive Sonic Youth Pavement
My name is Joe, Amos Kollek, Sue Lost in Manhattan, Les pyrénées, L’Aude, Adrien’s grand-parents, the black and white trees, the evening walks,
Tekno, 1999, Summer of 2000, Jose Bové, Teknivals, and the ravers, LSD & sitting in cars & dancing to the sound system, a pill of ecstasy and understood techno, early mornings,
Aurelie, Mèche, Julien, Fabrice, Simon, Charlotte, Montpellier, color photographs,
two dogs, Mao & Yuko. To draw and to paint, 2001, 2002, les squats de montpellier, Body art and Orlan, Anna Mendietta malleable bodies, superimpositions,, photographs of Laura with a taped up face, some paintings, Fine Arts school entry exams, nude drawing classes, charcoal drawing, color pictures of landscape, wanted to paint, polaroids, to paint and paint, FAN paintings, Ryan McGinley, Tumblr, Muzi quawson, Yoko ogawa, Margarethe Duras, slides and projections, photographs of people in landscapes, and text, outline drawings, parts of things, 2008, only doing pictures, until 2013, but everyone’s making pictures, quit picture making for a while, moving from flat to flat, made a video with dad, feeling close to dad, sitting close to dad, didn't feel close to dad since being 11, feeling, crying, digging family history, a trip to porto, Ten days walking, first solo exhibition, made her want to do more, October 2013, first paris studio, conceptual photos, short texts, videos, landscapes from up far and up close, few paintings here and there, but never finished, many times! 2016 Thailand, Laos, 2018, Thailand Laos Cambodia China Vietnam, visiting and photographing historical & tourist sites, Dien Bien Phu, flowers, bridge on the river Kwai, vegetation, research and documentation on the history of Laos and Vietnam, 2020 second solo show, 2021, paint and film a few people, photographing Mathieu’s patients, 2021, some kids ride their destroyed MBK’s metallic sky blue scooters in Sète
Twenty Three is an exhibition of photographs by Micky Backham selected especially for Peach from her archive of images, following a number of text messages and phone conversations between Micky and Peach. The pictures are, for the most part, portraits of family members, friends and acquaintances met along the way; through friends, at schools she attended, in the numerous bars and restaurants where she's worked over the years. This show also celebrates Backham's slow but steady practice in and out of a professional art career — exposing perhaps a different way of living an artistic lifestyle, and, of course, most importantly, exposing her approaches to producing images while going through it.