Artists at WELTKUNSTZIMMER / Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber

Oliver Sieber and Katja Stuke presenting their long-term project "You & Me"

Living Variables, solo at Projektraum4 Galerie Kasten, Mannheim, 2007

Spheres of Influence, solo at SPAM Contemporary, Duesseldorf, 2013

Stemmers, solo at Gallery Sara Tecchia New York, 2007

Stemmer, ss4, 2012, stainless steel, 36 x 60 x 70 cm

Globalexandria, ps1, 2011, stainless steel, 600 x 350 x 150 cm

Globalexandria, w1, 2013, stainless steel, 180 x 130 x 21 cm

Self Organizing Still-Life, bg15, 2013, Museum Kunstpalast

Way of Words, Motiongram No.8, 2008, chromogenic print, 26 x 23 cm

Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber are friends of our house since already a long time. As photo artists, they both do not only have their atelier on the courtyard of WELTKUNSTZIMMER, but they supported our programme with their works and especially with their affinity for Japan and Japanese (sub)culture. For example, they participated with photo works in our exhibition „Back From Japan“ in 2011, which was taking place as opening of our GÄSTEZIMMER (guest studios), already before the official opening of WELTKUNSTZIMMER as interdisciplinary art centre. Two years later, in 2013, the exhibition „Anata Ga Hoshii. I want you.“ initiated by Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber followed. For that exhibition, the two artists from Düsseldorf invited the sculptor Takuma Uematsu (Osaka), the video artist Yuki Hayashi (Kobe) and the designer Tetsuya Goto, all from Japan. Together with the curator Tadashi Kobayashi (Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe), these Japanese artists reflected with their art works on questions of translation and communication.


During their numerous travels to Japan, Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber established a huge network and made various contacts with the Japanese art scene and subculture. This close relation to Japan is reflected in their artistic synonym "BöhmKobayashi" (the Japanese name "Kobayashi" is quite similar often in use than the German name "Böhm") which labels the collective work of the two photo artists since 1999.


Stuke and Sieber are not only photographs, but also curators, initiators and first auf all editors of artist books and magazines like Böhm and ANT!FOTO. Stuke's and Sieber's work ends not with the conception and realisation of photographies. Rather, they intensively focus on the edition and distribution of images always questioning the contexts of production, their qualities and significance.


This is also the context in which their actual photo project "You & Me" - one of their rare collective long-term projects which came to a first end and was presented in an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Photography at the beginning of 2015.


„You & Me“ roots in the history of the Bosnian muslima Indira who was working as house maid at the place of Oliver Sieber's family in the 1990s after being forced to escape from their home country because of war. Quickly, Indira became more than a simple house maid for Sieber's family and a kind of close friendship developed. But after the end of the war, Indira was no longer accepted as refugee in Germany. Like many other Bosnians, she emigrated into the United States. Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber followed Indira's path of life which is closely connected with their own biographies. Following her traces, they travelled through Bosnia, Germany and the US until they finally reached Indira's actual place of living.


The cultural scientist Aleksandar Hemon descripes the project of the two Düsseldorf artists, an entanglement of people, places and times where different photographs, images, newspaper articles and quotations are put into a personal, extended context, as following:


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 a Me without You.“



The complete essay can be read here: http://boehmkobayashi.de/you-and-me-iii/#more-1043



On 13th Mai 2015, Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber has been guests at our "WELTKUNSTZIMMER - Labor für Kritik und Weitsicht" where they talked about their work with Sabine Maria Schmidt and presented their last project "You & Me" in the guestrooms of WELTKUNSTZIMMER.


The documentation of this event can be found here.



Further information on the two artists and there projects: