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Mila Panić

Tante aus Deutschland

“Tante aus Deutschland” (Aunt from Germany) is a semi-fictional character and a central figure in contemporary folk narratives of southeastern Europe. She is the goddess of migration, the symbol of success, money and a good life somewhere else. Almost every family has a “Tante” or knows one, and the stories that circulate create the contemporary migration myth that most often takes place in Germany.

Mila Panić, Tante aus Deutschland, 2019, video still. Courtesy of the artist.

The complexity of this character serves as the motivation for Mila’s Panić work in progress Tante aus Deutschland (2019) – migration and the narrative surrounding it. She starts from her direct experiences as a migrant in Germany, juxtaposing them with the encounter of certain cultural constructs formed by the region she comes from and reflected in her current position.

The video work records the discussion between the artist and her aunts that arrived in Germany 26 years ago. They discuss this status symbol, it’s reality and the constant aspiration for a better life. Through the interview model, they give advice on how to “better integrate” into German society and address personal anxieties, including the feelings of responsibility, guilt, expectations, and thoughts of return.

As a part of the project, the artist created her own chocolate called Tante aus Deutschland. By combining and melting acclaimed chocolates from Western European brands into a new Balkan diaspora brand, she is creating a disturbing product with a questionable taste. With the simple gift gesture (chocolate, at least, is expected from an aunt from Germany) she spreads the question of the quality and sweetness of life in the so-called West, imported as a common narrative.

Mila Panić, All the best from the West, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

Mila Panić (1991)
is Bosnian born artist, researcher and aspiring comedian. Currently, she lives and mingles in Berlin. She completed her MFA in Public Art and New Art Strategies at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. Her works were exhibited internationally such as in Kunsthaus Dresden, Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Vienna Künstlerhaus and National Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje. She is the initiator of the platform and association Fully Funded Residencies for faster and easier overview of art residences, mobility funds and grants. Her artist practice ranges from personalized documentation to highly poetic visual and discursive elements, from drawings to found footage, food and photographs.

Etc. is a annual magazine, dedicated to showcasing current artistic production from the Baltic to the Balkans.
Based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, each issue is dedicated to a relevant topic in art and life. Founded to promote emerging artists, its goal is to initiate a dialogue, inspire collaborations, and challenge set views.