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, Stukeand 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.
Katja Stuke (b. 1968) and Oliver Sieber (b. 1966) cover an extensive range of personas: photographers and artists, curators and exhibition organisers, designers and art book editors. Yet as they move through their photographic cosmos, it is not always so easy to determine where one identity ends and the other begins. Regardless, in their works and activities as artists and art facilitators they have long since become moderators of a very specific photographic culture.
Recently their work has been exhibited at: Rencontres International de la Photographie Arles, CCCB Barcelona, Kunsthaus NRW Kornelimünster, Fotografia Europea Festival in Reggio Emilia, Kunstmuseum Bonn and Fundación Foto Colectania Barcelona. In 2010 they started ANT!FOTO, and in 2016 they curated the main exhibitions at the Photoszene Festival in Cologne.
They live and work in Düsseldorf, Germany.