Jana Leo

Madrid, 1965

Jana Leo lives and works in New York. A multidisciplinary artist, she develops her work through different media such as video, film, photography, performance, architecture and writing. She has a PhD in Philosophy from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and a master’s degree in architecture from Princeton University (USA), and from 2000 to 2007 worked as a professor of Advanced Art and Architecture Projects and Concepts at the School of Architecture of the Cooper Union, New York. At this juncture of philosophy and architecture, Jana Leo develops work with a strong conceptual base which materializes in different formats within the same work: books, photographs, drama, drawings, songs… In 2007 she founded Civic Gaps – a reflection group established in New York devoted to the study of empty or deserted spaces in the city – and in 2008 she established the Fundación MOSIS-MOdelos y SIStemas; Arte y Ciudad, the main goal of which is to make cities through art and architecture and construct art models and systems.

Her work revolves around two main axes, based on anonymity and collaboration: on the one hand her work to “facilitate” meetings between strangers and unite them to attain a common goal, expressed in the piece Fotografiar sin ver. Visiones del cuerpo humano (1994) and on the other, the art-city actions, that is, the creation of groups with the aim of creating artistic projects that bring together different disciplines such as the action Volando avioncitos de papel held in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, for example.

She has published El viaje sin distanciaPerversiones del tiempo. El espacio y el dinero frente al límite en la cultura contemporánea (2006), Rape New York–A Narrative of a Rape and Examination of Culture of Predation (2009), I Condo New York una teoría del amor, la arquitectura y las formas de propiedad (2010) and El efecto Goya, Destrucción de Estatuas (2011).

She has exhibited in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid, 1999), Javier López Gallery (Madrid, 1999), Project Room Arco (Madrid, 2002), Invisible Exports Gallery (New York, 2009) and La Casa Encendida (Madrid, 2011), among others. Her work is present in private and public Spanish collections: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid), Es Baluard Museu d’Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma, Comunidad de Madrid, Fundación Marcelino Botín (Santander) and Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo.