Blue Sky is pleased to announce Living Room: San Francisco & Berlin, an exhibition of photographs by Jana Sophia Nolle. Jana Sophia Nolle’s series Living Room: San Francisco & Berlin concentrates on the ever-growing rift between rich and poor. Now living and working primarily in Berlin, her conceptual photographic study of makeshift shelters began during her stays in San Francisco from 2016— 2019.
Jana Sophia Nolle: Living Room: San Francisco & Berlin © Jana Sophia Nolle
Nolle works with people living on the streets to understand how their improvised dwellings are constructed. After establishing relationships with the unhoused individuals, and with their permission, Nolle approaches wealthy people for permission to access their homes. Then, in a performative act, she recreates and photographs the makeshift shelters within the homes of the wealthy.
The photographs are an inventory, a typology of improvised dwellings, cataloging their various attributes. The elaborate reconstructions show a conglomerate of repurposed items and materials, resulting in a series of architectural interiors. While aesthetically striking, Nolle’s resulting contrast of living spaces also touches on larger phenomena of socio-political changes, housing shortages, exclusion and gentrification. The project aims to challenge our perceptions and definitions of living space and wealth, of poverty, and the importance of refuge and security.
Living Room is an ongoing project. Currently Nolle is working on its European continuation in Paris and London.
Jana Sophia Nolle (German, b. 1986) lives and works with her daughter in Berlin, Germany. Her practice, which consists of photography and found footage, operates at the intersection of research, observation and documentation, and shifts between conceptual photography, video, objects, and installations. Often, the starting point of her projects is based on either autobiographical experiences or social phenomena. Her interests reflect a fascination with social change and justice, fragile identities, as well as individuals embedded in socio-political transformations.
Nolle’s photographs are included in numerous public and private collections, and have been exhibited internationally in solo and group exhibitions, most recently at Haus am Kleistpark Berlin, Weserburg Museum für Moderne Kunst Bremen, Torrance Art Museum Los Angeles, Santo Tirso International Museum of Contemporary Sculpture Portugal, UNSEEN Amsterdam and the Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco. Her work “Living Room, San Francisco 2017/2018” won various grants, awards and prizes, including the Berlin Senate research grant 2021, the LensCulture Emerging Talent Award 2019, the 2019/20 the Haus am Kleistpark Photography Fellowship, and the Neuköllner Art Prize 2020. In 2020, she published the project as one monograph, “Living Room, San Francisco 2017/18” with Kehrer Verlag.
Since 2019 Nolle has been an affiliate artist with Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, CA, USA. Nolle received her MSc from SOAS University London, UK, and a degree in Photography from Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie, Berlin, Germany.