*1988 in Sevilla, lives in Basel
Mia Sanchez completed her MA in Arts at the Institut Kunst in Basel. Before that, she studied at the Hochschule der Künste Bern (HKB) and spent a year as a visiting student at the Hochschule für bildende Kunst Hamburg (HfbK). Her works are often made in series and play with scale and stage-like characteristics. The use of repetition and scene-like settings suggests narrative connections. Some resemble props from a puppet show; the works’ childhood associations open up spaces of remembrance. The serial nature of the objects, however, shift these mementos from the purely personal towards the social. The inner as private, personal experiences, the outer as the structurally order we are enveloped by; being true to the personal is political.
“What Matters” was the question andtatement of 2022 presentation of works by the JUNGE AKADEMIE, the interdisciplinary and international artist-in-residence programme of the Akademie der Künste. In an exhibition and a multifaceted programme including screenings, concerts and readings, 29 fellows from all of the Akademie’s art sections presented sound and video installations, photographs, sculptures, paintings and performances they developed during their studio residencies in the Hansaviertel in Berlin and at Villa Serpentara in Olevano, Italy.
“What Matters” is not to be understood as the title of a thematic exhibition but rather indicates the diversity of questions, perspectives and realities that are interlaced in an artist residency, while emphasising their urgency. The exhibition focused on the artists’ individual approaches that encompass a broad spectrum of themes: from questions about the transformation of societies and their expression in relation to the urban space and landscape, to interrelations between the individual and social systems such as state, religion and the economy, to reflections on body images and conceptions of history, personal archives and the intertwining of nature, technology and culture.
What matters is artistic testimony, poetic resistance and the imagining of sustainable futures in the face of global tipping points – whether climatic or political in nature. Two years into the pandemic and the associated restrictions, “What Matters” was the most comprehensive presentation of works to date by the JUNGE AKADEMIE.
To quote one of the fellows: “What matters? Make them see…”
Regina of Crossroads
Shot with a direct gaze, Mia Sanchez’s film, Regina of Crossroads (2021), accompanies Désirée into her workshift through the city.
Engine gear, stop break on, open doors.
Exploring the urban context of Berlin whilst navigating the new turns, takes and stops of the preset bus routes, a wandering image of the city – streets, intersections, strollers – appears, defined by public service and labour. Entangled in her multiple viewpoints, Désirée – her body and the one of the vehicle merged in unison – becomes a tool for subjectivity and critical examination: a mechanical narrator looking for recognition. Fact and fiction, as well as bus driving and theatre principles, blend and layer to increase complexity. “As part of a system, I have a certain freedom of decision” she pensively states.
The film explores broader critical and political questions about social structures and systems, public space, how it is constructed, and for whom.
Starring: Désirée Meul
Sound: Yanik Soland