Maja Bajević: "La Mina" (2004 / 2008)
in the exhibition. Photograph: Andreas Süß
Maja Bajević (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Germany *1967)
Loss, absence, memory, and a collective attempt at re-appropriation are current themes in Maja Bajević’s work, especially in her ongoing group performances with women. She often uses soft and ephemeral materials and places the ‘traditional’ and ‘private’ practices of stitching, engraving and embroidery in the public sphere.
"La Mina" (2004) is a group performance with women from La Mina, a ‘problem district’ in the outskirts of Barcelona which was built during the 1970s. The government sold apartments in the box-like buildings to new inhabitants with the help of low-interest loans. This was a decision with a double edge: On the one hand, it is not easy to evict inhabitants from their apartments because they are owners; on the other hand, it reinforces the ‘ghetto condition’. Bajević uses the district’s cultural center, a modernist building that has been empty for several years, for a performance with a group of women from the neighborhood. A barbed wire grid is spread across the floor roughly one meter above the ground, reflecting the structure of the ceiling but also symbolizing the notion of regulation inherent in modernist architecture. Together with Isabel Moreno Carmona, Antonia Martin Cuesta, Carmen Amaya Flores and Alicia Vila Reyes, she envelops the barbed wire in knitting yarn, forming fields of wool and creating patterns which are only visible to those creating them. The performance lasted five hours, during which the hall filled with people for the first time in years.