December 8, 2017 – February 4, 2018
FORUM 044: Jenny Schäfer – List: New Water

FORUM 044, the Münchner Stadtmuseum’s contemporary photography exhibition, presents “List: New Water” by Jenny Schäfer – an artistic exploration of the ambivalence of the element of water. How is water perceived? How is water marketed? What kinds of associations are triggered by this element? Jenny Schäfer made an intensive study of water as a phenomenon over a two-year period. The result of her endeavours is a collection of photographs, drawings and objects which show the connection between the aesthetics of water in the capitalist system and its inherent romance, power and fascination.

The artist abstracts her photographic motifs from their original narrative context to rearrange them in a field defined by her. This approach derives partly from the realisation that water is generally unable to float around freely, as it is often depicted on, for example, bottle labels or in advertisements. Here, water frequently appears in the form of individual droplets, waves or sprays in the background, symbolizing freshness and health. Jenny Schäfer’s montages take water beyond this forlorn state.

Jenny Schäfer, „List: New Water”, 2017, Photograph © Jenny Schäfer
Jenny Schäfer, „List: New Water”, 2017, Photograph © Jenny Schäfer
Jenny Schäfer, „List: new water” in Sandrock bedroom, Hamburg, Installation photograph © Tim Bruening
Jenny Schäfer, „List: New Water”, 2017, Drawing © Jenny Schäfer

Jenny Schäfer’s approach explores a technique taken from industrial image processing and commercialization and diverts it to her own artistic ends. She is particularly attracted by an idea outlined by Hamburg artist Silke Grossmann in an interview in 1993: “Perception naturally takes in the space behind your back and around your body. This is why it’s exciting for me to see the picture frame not as a hermetically sealed peepshow but as a camera angle on a three-dimensional space which is still linked to and perfused by everything around it.”


Jenny Schäfer was born 1985 and lives in Hamburg. She studied fine arts at Hamburg University of Fine Arts, where she gained her master’s degree in 2015. Her artistic work focuses on materials used our everyday aesthetics and presentations thereof. Jenny Schäfer has published art books which are exhibited nationally and internationally. Recent publications include “Mystery Hystery” (Textem Verlag, 2016) and “I can’t relax”, with the Institut für moderne Kunst Nürnberg (SuKuLTuR Verlag).

Selected exhibitions

This is no Science Fiction, solo exhibition, Institut für Moderne Kunst, zumikon, Nürnberg (2017)
Künstlerbücher für Alles, group exhibition, Zentrum für Künstlerpublikationen, Bremen (2017)
The Photobook Exhibition, group exhibition, Benaki Museum, Athen (2017)
Die glückliche Lücke, group exhibition, FRISE, Hamburg (2017)
Über Bücher und Fotografie, group exhibition, Dortmunder U/UZWEI, Dortmund (2016)
Tretet ein, auch hier sind Götter, artist talk, Haus der Photographie, Hamburg (2016)
Pragmatische Steinforschung, Symposium 'Steinformen', Warburg-Haus, Hamburg (2016)
emerging artists, with Natalia Sidor + Robert Vellekoop, AAF, Hamburg (2015)
DELTA 15, group exhibition, Wasserwerk am Falkensteiner Ufer, Hamburg (2015)
Survivors, group exhibition with Nikita Kadan, Heiko Wommelsdorf and Michaela Schweighöfer, PLAN-Raum für Kunst, Hamburg (2015).

Conversation with the artist
Friday, 8 December, 2017, 3.00 p.m.
Jenny Schäfer in conversation with Erec Gellautz about her work.