Ja Jess, Artist


Ja Jess, mauve, 2023, videostill, treatment, acrylic nails, mauve nail polish, phonetic script, chairs, abandoned car factory break room, Düsseldorf

Ja Jess (*1998) graduated this summer 2023 their studies as a master student in the class of Gregor Schneider at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf . They currently live and work in Düsseldorf. In the form of "treatments," Ja Jess generates a practice from the theatricality of social contexts and how their historical shaping produces roles located within them. As part of this practice, Ja Jess integrates themself into the theatricality of these contexts, intra-actively capturing and scripting the course of fictional, socially constructed roles and their relations. A serial "de-staging" of their socio-political meanings. "How does the touched space negotiate itself on me, how does your sense of self shapes me, as you learn to distinguish yourself from me? As we make ourselves social. How a figure, offering itself in appearance, founds identities; carries spaces with it and generates transformed meanings in the disguised space. I understand my performativity as an artist within that practice as an actress/ actor. A role/ an actress/ actor as a context.“

In 2020, Ja Jess was awarded a scholarship from the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, participated in Documenta fifteen with their work A Women's Boldness Is Her Shame and spent three months in New York City on a travel grant that same year before they have now been nominated for the DAAD scholarship. Contexts of their practice so far have included airports; churches; strip clubs; factory buildings; theaters; multi-religious prayer rooms; international schools; off-spaces; museums; art associations and galleries.