KVHBF Showcases

Grind&Shine Inc. by Cake&Cash presents
Svetlana Mijić

January 15 — February 27, 2022

The fourth exhibition in the showcases curated by Cake&Cash at the Harburg train station features works by the artist Svetlana Mijić. Her artistic practice is not about creating - rather, she is interested in collecting and sorting. In a conversation she once said, "One is made out of two, I think - not the other way around." And so she constantly redevelops the poetics of collecting and fragmenting.

Like all of the exhibitions in this series, Mijić deals with the theme of self-realization; her approach revolves around identity as transit. It is about permitting complexity, not just enduring it, but embracing it benevolently. It is not about wanting to control it, but about immersing oneself in its sideshows, drifting into dreams there. But she does not lose herself there, on the contrary.

In the showcases on the platform, the artist approaches her personal transit in three ways, in an openly conceived form of the archive. She has sought out three very concrete objects to make them into an image in such a way that we are invited to encounter each other at our lowest common denominator: the fleetingness of our identity.

Munching on sunflower seeds is what Svetlana Mijić calls "a companion of my existence". It is a social practice and at the same time a symbol of collective waiting. People are nibbling on sunflower seeds, they are together, relieving stress, getting bored or busy. All of these states share the sense that we are in a state of limbo, waiting for an arrival, somewhere. Mijić encounters the sunflower seeds in the form of small heaps on the ground; as if people had made tracks to leave an ephemeral imprint of their existence. Or are they simply looking for the way home?

For the artist, an object which absorbs and compresses within itself the fragments of all the stories of our identity is the Red-Blue-White-Bag. Every language and culture seems to have its own name for this bag; in Serbian it is called "krmača", which translates as "the sow". It holds and absorbs everything, becomes a heavy body that must be carried with physical effort - wherever. Permeated by the most diverse processes of cultural appropriation, it appears wonderfully ambivalent. 

Mijić disassembles the bag into its individual parts, stretches it and thus creates a resonant surface that displays its interwoven-ness to us. The sum of Svetlana Mijić's movements has brought her to Germany at some point. With her third object, she shares with us how she gained access to the German language and culture. In the documents she shows us, she is constantly confronted with contextualizing herself, but also with the cultural subtext that has always been attempted to be imposed upon her.