Jenny Sofie Kasper

  50°06’20.4″N 8°45’52.2″E, 2023

Virtual Reality Installation

3D Scan Collage, Trnio+, Ue5.03
Duration variable

Film, Ue5.03, 29 min

Ceramics, bisque fired, dipped in ink
Dimensions variable

Courtesy the artist

(Please note that the Virtual Reality glasses by Jenny-Sofie Kasper can only be tried out on the following days: Thursdays, 4pm-9pm & Saturdays, Sundays, 11am-7pm).

Jenny Kasper maps and documents the city. She has long been collecting impressions and observations of the city she inhabits, Offenbach am Main: a blown-up cash machine in a square, a subway with a defective neon lighting, abandoned streets, her friends.

When everything was paralysed by the pandemic, the artist spent months walking through the city, which, like a scenery, a closed row of façades, seemed to outlast time, waiting for public life to recommence.

Using a 3D scanner, Kasper has captured digitally the surfaces of entire streets. For the exhibition at the Frankfurter Kunstverein, she has plumbed her archive to create a fictional world from the many visual and acoustic finds. The result is a collage, a condensation of experiences and sensual memories evoking a time of imposed isolation. Façades and exterior views lose their contours. Geometries dissolve in an act of digital, artistic distortion.

Using VR data glasses, visitors can move around the city as if in a film set. The spatial experience is enhanced by a soundscape of collected field recordings and a soundtrack that sets an unmistakable mood. It was created by Frankfurt sound artist Tim Kernwein, a friend of the artist.

The digital city tour evolves over time. Beginning next to a collection of bulky waste, it leads through streets and a square to the banks of the River Main in Offenbach. For Jenny Kasper, bulk waste takes on a higher meaning as a symbol for a city in constant transition. And so she makes a modular sculpture out of fired clay, which she transfers as an analogue element from the digital to the real world of the exhibition space.

Time and again the façades open up, allowing the viewers to peer inside and encounter human figures. We enter the studio of Barnabas Vollmer, an Offenbach artist. We encounter his digital persona and his art, his sculptures and paintings, occupy his space and listen to his music. To then resume our path. We walk on, down a deserted shopping street with a gambling arcade, beauty salon and the Corona Test Centre, a distinct feature of an era.

The path leads onto a bridge over the River Main. Facing the water, alone, Niklas Linnenbach, Offenbach poet, recites a poem that illustrates this place and time with words. Jenny has captured it digitally, recording the transience of the moment forever. It almost seems that we are moving in the image of a memory, in a digital reality that has become the counterpart to the work.

‘Cat Calls of Offenbach’, a female artists’ collective, is also part of Jenny Kasper’s counterworld. The three women collect reports of sexual harassment without physical contact in public space and use these as their material, which they bring back into urban space, including this digital zone. Mona Nguyen & Minju Oh are the protagonists of an encounter where we meet them as they enact a performative work. Kasper also places the Waggon am Kulturgleis, run by the Soziale Plastik association and a cultural meeting place in Offenbach, in her city tour.

The starting point of the digital city, the pile of bulky waste, becomes an element of the analogue world in the here and now. Precisely, by hand, the artist has individually recreated further elements, which she reproduces first digitally and then in clay. Jenny Kasper arranges the sculpture in the exhibition space by setting it in an almost virtual shimmer with projected images that link up with those of her virtual world.

Jenny Sofie Kasper (*1995 in Waldkirch, DE) has studied electronic media and ceramics with Prof. Alexander Oppermann and Merja Herzog-Hellstén at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach since 2018. Previously she completed an apprenticeship as a graphic designer. A recipient of a Hans Böckler Foundation scholarship since 2020, Jenny Sofie Kasper has exhibited at the following institutions, among others: Kunsthalle Darmstadt (DE), Delphi Space, Freiburg (DE), B3 Biennale des bewegten Bildes, Frankfurt am Main (DE).