14:00 – 19:00



Freja Bäckman:
Spruce Spray and Shadings

29.9 – 15.10 2022

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday: 14:00-19:00
30′ booking slot (One person at a time) / Free
Booking here:

Spruce Spray and Shadings is a vinyl record consisting of two tracks of bass drone and a text in four chapters, retelling events which have or possibly could take place.They contain traces and stolen chunks from Witold Gombrowicz’s novel Cosmos and William S. Burroughs’ Cities of the Red Night, discovered by having followed the words ‘spruce’ and ‘shadings’ in the original texts. The narration begins by venturing down the stairs and deeper into the bushes and ends up with a pile of spruce needles after dancing with discarded christmas trees.

Spruce Spray and Shadings continues to contemplate on the uncanniness of togetherness and coziness as an other iteration of Freja Bäckman’s body of work I was told I chop wood like a ballet dancer. The body of work has taken various forms and examines the proximities and intertwining of belonging, care, vulnerabilities and violence. By pointing to the shared origins of ‘hugga’ (to chop in Swedish) and ‘hug’ (to embrace someone or something in English) as well as ‘hygge’ (a harvested forest area in Swedish and a cozy mood in Danish) they describe how these tensions and contradictions are present in language. Bass is another reoccurring element in this body of work, which also moves between pleasure and discomfort (or even violence) that bass frequencies can produce. 

The bass tracks on Spruce Spray and Shadings are played by Tari Doris and Freja Bäckman in a improv drone session. This is the second collaboration between the two artists, after Midnight Cowboy (2022), a vinyl record created for the show The years that repeat their days at Taidekoti Kirpilä.

Freja Bäckman works as an artist, educator and researcher. Their practice is concerned with collective formations and informed by feminism. Through analysis of power, language and knowledge sharing they work with performance, sound, text and installation. (On Circles) was Freja’s previous record in the ongoing body of work I was told I chop wood like a ballet dancer, published with Coda Press in 2020. In recent years their work has been shared at Vantaa Art Museum Artsi, Lydgalleriet and Hordaland Kunstsenter in Bergen, District and nGbK in Berlin, Äänen Lumo and Third Space in Helsinki. They are doing a doctorate at the Department of Art at Aalto University and hold a MA from Art in Context at Berlin University of Arts. They have been a visiting scholar at Parsons, The New School in New York. In 2021 they moved to Helsinki after 15 years in Berlin.

Spruce Spray and Shadings 
Sound design: Tari Doris
Textual help: E.L. Karhu
Proofreading: Kataja Varisvaara

Spruce Spray and Shadings is supported by Svenska kulturfonden and Taike.

There is a printed version of the text on the inside of the fold-out record cover.
Työhuone is located on the street level, but there is one step in the entrance. The door is 70 cm wide. 

Thu 29 Sep 2022 – 15 Oct 2022 14:00 – 19:00



Pengerkatu 7
00530 Helsinki