Jana Sophia Nolle (b. 1986, in Germany) lives and works in Berlin and San Francisco. She is educated in Fine Art Photography from Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie, Berlin in 2018 and received her MSc in Violence, Conflict Development Studies at SOAS University London in 2012.
Jana Sophie Nolle contributed to the 2019 Festival centre with the project ‘Living Room’ where she explored how is our home, whether house or tent, the determining factor for selecting our social group? How much does being homeless define somebody who might also be intelligent, creative and social? Are homeless people too far removed from society to be considered valuable members?
Jana Sophia Nolle approached homeowners and homeless people of San Francisco and asked them for access to their private spaces. Homeless people were asked to share their construction plans or lists of materials, while wealthy people were asked to open their living rooms.
The reconstructions show a conglomerate of repurposed items and materials, resulting in a series of architectural interiors. As the individual living rooms of the privileged homeowners reflect their owners, the reconstructed shelters also reflect their original creators: some are minimal, some are complicated or fragile, some are folded together and others are assembled into nomadic vehicles, giving the impression of constant movement.
In this way, Living Room asks us to consider social questions and connections through a purely material perspective, not based on direct human interaction, and touches on a larger phenomenon of socio-political changes, housing shortages, exclusion and gentrification.
“The living room functions as a place into which we retreat and ‘live’, but also as one into which we welcome others; we invite people in to gain insight into our lives and ourselves, not only through the conversations we have, but also through the display of our belongings, the visitor’s understanding of them, as well as their interpretation of the overall environment itself.” (From: “JANA SOPHIA NOLLE: LIVING ROOM”, essay by Aaron Schuman)