Jana Müller was born in 1977 in Halle/Saale. From 1999 until 2006 she studied photography at the Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts, graduating with a diploma in visual art. She lives and works in Berlin.
Jana Müller’s works deal with social catastrophes, threats, collective fears and their representation in the media. Her installations can be read as surveys of mysterious events oscillating between seemingly real incidents and fiction. Documentary and forensic means are deployed to stage traces of never fully graspable, yet strongly suggestive stories. Making reference to filmic and photographic aesthetics, the visual language of these works is reminiscent of crime scene forensics or theatre backdrops. The artist seems to be attracted to the darkest sides of man and society as well as all the manifestations of the unconscious and the uncanny – especially when they lurk behind the façade of normality. However, it is also the broader phenomenon of the transgression of boundaries which reinforces her interest in the fields of criminality and forensics as well as avid curiosity and pleasure in crime.
Since 2007 she has received numerous grants, including from the DAAD, the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa), the Berlin Senat and most recently from the Landesstiftung Niedersachsen for the program Braunschweig PROJECTS at the Braunschweig Academy of Visual Arts.
Her works have been shown in various contexts, including the group exhibitions Der Tod ist Dein Körper, Frankfurter Kunstverein, 2014 (curated by Lilian Engelmann), Kino und der kinematografische Blick, Kunsthalle Memmingen, 2013 (curated by Axel Lapp), Berlin. Status 1, Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin, 2012 (curated by Christoph Tannert) as well as the solo show Psycho Family, Städtische Galerie Nordhorn, 2012 (curated by Veronika Olbrich). An important part of her practice are collaborations with other artists and cultural practitioners. Since 2001 she has continuously worked with the artist Wiebke Elzel on photographic series. Currently she is involved with the project 3668 Ilfpetrow – From Star to Star with Felicitas Hoppe, Alexej Meschtschanow und Jana Müller, a trip through the US in the fall of 2015 which retraced Ilf and Petrow’s journey from “One-storied America” (translated as “Little Golden America”) from 1936 (www.3668ilfpetrow.com). She has also conceived and realized curatorial projects which resulted in accompanying publications. These included The Disasters of Peace, Berlin, 2010 (together with Alexej Meschtschanow) and Cumuli – On Collecting Things and Cumuli - Trading Places, Berlin / Memmingen, 2013 / 2015 (together with Robert Gschwantner, Ralf Hoedt, Regine Müller-Waldeck,Simon Wachsmuth, Moira Zoitl, Vanja Sisek und the curator Susanne Prinz).