Jasmina Cibic is known for her investigation of soft power and historical case-studies of the instrumentalization of art, architecture and design for national and ideological purposes. In film, sculpture, performance and installation, the artist deals with the question of how political rhetoric is used in art and architecture, and in particular examines how cultural production is used by the state to convey certain principles and objectives. Cibic's projects analyze symbols and iconographies and are dedicated to the complex interdependencies of art, gender and state power. The artist encourages the viewer to follow her lead and decipher the strategies that are regularly employed in the construction of national culture through a synthesis of gestures, spectacle and re-enactment.
Cibic's contribution to Showing True Colours is based on her latest project, which deals with the political role of cultural gifts in moments of (European) identity crises. To this end, the artist researched in the United Nations Archives which artistic or general cultural gifts were made to the UN in connection with the construction of the League of Nations in Geneva (1929-38). Among the gifts was a competition for a flag for the league. Ultimately, the competition was unsuccessful because of the legitimate concern that each of the submissions was too nation-specific, if not nationalistic. Her flags for Showing True Colours are based on the UN flag submissions made at that time, highlighting the question of the complicity of cultural producers in (trans)-national, ideological identity crises, and of course also how the stagings and spectacles that accompany every newly formulated claim to political, national and ideological power are organized.