You and Me

You and Me, 2018, Bunkier Sztuki, Krakow Photomonth, curated by Iris Sikking

You and Me follows the story of a Bosnian-born refugee who lived in Dusseldorf in the 1990s before moving to the US. The photobook sets up links between Bosnia , Germany, and the US, while also providing a contextual frame for the artists and their relationship to the past. “We didn’t just want to tell a historical story; instead we set out to shift the perspective between the present and the future and generate connections between the three countries using visual material relating to the military, politics, music, and film.”

You and Me won the LUMA Foundation’s Dummy Book Award at the 2016 Les Rencontres de la Photographie Festival in Arles. The project came into being with support from the MoCP Chicago (where it was also first exhibited), the Goethe-Institut in Chicago, the Goethe-Institut Sarajevo, Les Rencontres de la Photographie and the LUMA Foundation in Arles.

The book includes more than two hundred images organized in twenty-two chapters reflecting the different aspects of the series, as well as five other chapters including research material, background information, some short stories, and a text by Aleksandar Hemon.

You and Me was exhibited at:

2018 Bunkier Sztuki, Krakow Photomonth
2016 Scope« Hannover
2016 Kunsthaus NRW, Kornelimünster Aachen (collection)
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

You and Me, 2015, Museum for Contemporary Photography Chicago

You and Me, 2015, Museum for Contemporary Photography Chicago

Über Fotografie, Gebiet und Anarchismus Ein Interview zwschen Sabine Maria Schmidt und Katja Stuke/Oliver Sieber im Kunstform International, Band 273 »Report. Bilder aus der Wirklichkeit« (Feb. 2021). Über »You and Me«, »Japanese Lesson«, »国庆Nationalfeiertag« und mehr.

From an interview about »You and Me« with Punte de Fuga.
P.D.F: There is something intriguing in this book. It starts with a departure! There is that image of a dog trying to cross a big avenue entitled: Leaving Tuzla. From the beginning of that book the reader is disturbed. Are we going anywhere, why are those images of a no man’s land so powerful? It seems that we are able to get that direct experience from your trip and we end up remembering those places. It is because of the solitude they transmit? Is drifting a way of boosting lost memories?

K.S.: „You and Me“ is not a documentary about a person’s life but about a general perspective on universal topics. So, yes, the starting point was Indira: he had to leave her town and country for reasons we could never really comprehend, but the concept of „leaving“ is a very universal, almost everybody knows, almost everybody has a different story to tell about leaving something or someone. The topic „Leaving“ as a starting point for a photographic project can lead to different stories, aspects and ideas.

read the whole interview»»

Katja Stuke & Oliver Sieber
You and Me

English, Bosnian, French, German
24 x 31 cm, 458 pp. with 115 black/white images, 235 colour
22+5 saddle-stitched booklets in a box

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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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Katja Stuke & Oliver Sieber
You and Me

two-channel-video installation
12:25 min