You and Me

(with Katja Stuke)

Museum of Contemporary Photographie (MoCP), Chicago 2015

Holiday Inn« Sarajewo 2014; pigment print 72 cm x 53 cm in artist’s frame, edition: 3

Cafe Drina« Chicago 2014; pigment print 50 cm x 73 cm in artist’s frame,
edition: 3

Protester« Sarajewo 2014; pigment print 72 cm x 53 cm in artist’s frame,
edition: 3

Tuzla 2014; pigment print 72 cm x 53 cm in artist’s frame, edition: 3

Cat« St. Louis/ Missouri 2015; pigment print 72 cm x 53 cm
in artist’s frame, edition: 3

Sarajewo 2014; pigment print 72 cm x 53 cm in artists frame, edition: 3

Jacqueline Smith« Memphis 2014; pigment print 72 cm x 96 cm in artists frame, edition: 3

Mosque« Sarajewo 2014; pigment print 54 cm x 39 cm in artists frame, edition: 3

Tony Lee« Birmingham Alabama 2014; pigment print 50 cm x 73 cm in
artist’s frame, edition: 3

Aleksandar Hemon on You and Me«

[…] The fabric of history is what Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber are photographing and Indira is their lens. The story of her remarkable, heroic, previously invisible life cannot be disentangled from the history of Bosnia, of Germany, and of the United States, nor from Oliver and Katja’s story, nor, ultimately, from the story of any of the people they meet on their way to find Indira in her new Florida “home.” Everything they see pertains to Indira; Indira pertains to everything they see; she refracts history. Hence nothing is irrelevant; nothing is invisible. The result is something that could be called, to use Roland Barthes’s phrase, a history of looking.

The obvious implication of Stuke and Sieber’s approach is the notion that every person is at the heart of their own personal-cum-historical entanglement, as every person is sovereign, yet endlessly connected with everyone else. What photography—art—can do is reaffirm the sovereignty while strengthening the connections. That is precisely what Oliver Sieber and Katja Stuke do so superbly, so unblinkingly. They prove that there can never be Me without You.
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Krakow Photomonth 2018; curated by Iris Sikking

Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber
You and Me (2014–2017)

Zvornik, located in the north of Bosnia and Herzegovina, became a stage of war in the early 1990s. Many residents were forced to flee; Indira and her family were among them. In Düsseldorf, Germany, her path crossed with that of the artists when she helped Oliver’s mother in her house. After the Balkan War, the German government decided that Bosnian refugees should return to their homeland; Indira’s family decided to move to the United States.

Early in 2014, Stuke and Sieber took off on what would become an intensive road trip triggered by the search for Indira. Their journey from Bosnia—Sarajevo, Tuzla, and Zvornik—brought them to Chicago and St. Louis, which currently hosts the largest Bosnian community in the US. They visited Bowling Green, where for some time Indira and her family had run the restaurant You and Me. Finally they met her again in St. Petersburg, Florida. Starting from the story of an individual migrant, Stuke and Sieber have expanded their work in searching for historic events and certain loaded political places. Incidents in the three countries involved are intertwined with references to music, movies, and novels.

Without digressing the core of the project, they keep circling around the struggle refugees are faced with throughout their lives: the sheer impossibility of making a decent home for oneself after forced departure from one’s birthplace. This state could best be described as living in limbo, and it is strongly reflected in the photographic language, the editing of the video works, and the design of the accompanying publication.

1: You and Me
2-channel video installation, no sound, duration 12:25 min
2: Leaving Zvornik
video, no sound, loop, duration 9:48 min
video with sound, loop, duration 0:30 min
4: Research material, 57 pages, zine-print on Din A4

You and Me (2017)
book published by Spector Books

You and Me won the Luma Foundation Book Award at les Rencontres d’Arles.

The Book is published with Spector Books Leipzig >click

exhibitions (selection):
2018 Bunkier Sztuki, Krakow Photomonth«
2016 Scope« Hannover
2016 Kunst aus NRW, Kornelimünster Aachen
2016 Fotografia Europea« [G] Palazzo da Mosto, Reggio Emilia
2015 Past is Now« Fotodoks [G] Stadtmuseum München
2015 You and Me« Museum for Contemporary Photography Chicago

Kunsthaus NRW-Kornelimünster Aachen
(Artist book, 3 Videos, 196 pigmet prints)