Manifesta purposely strives to keep its distance from what are often seen as the dominant centres of artistic production, instead seeking fresh and fertile terrain for the mapping of a new cultural topography.

Selma Selman, BA

Questions of labour and economy are at the centre of this and other performative works by Selma Selman. The recycling of scrap metal in particular plays a pivotal role in her practice insofar as her family has supported itself in this way for generations. In several performances, she destroys metal goods, whether vacuum cleaners or washing machines, to harvest the valuable parts.

In Mercedes Matrix, Selman is joined by members of her family in dismantling a Mercedes Benz, a symbol of affluence and status across the Balkans and indeed much of the globe. She thus transforms their daily business into artistic labour, augmenting its symbolic value in the process.

Here and elsewhere in her practice, Selman considers the complexities of the oppressions Roma people experience within the framework of what she calls “Superpositional Intersectionalism”. This is a movement founded and led by the artist to synthesise the struggles of people and groups across the planet who have multiple overlapping and intersecting forms of discrimination to resist.