Born in Madrid, Jana Leo is a philosopher who works on conceptual art and architecture based in New York City. Leo holds a PhD and a BA in Philosophy (2004, 1992) both from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid as well as a MA in Architecture from the SoA Princeton University (USA, 2000).
Invited by the prestigious architect Peter Eisenman, was a professor at The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of the Cooper Union (New York, 2000-2007) Leo was Assistant Adjunct Professor among others at ARCH 121 Design II with Peter Eisenman, ARCH 121 Design II with David Gersten, ARCH 151 Thesis with Anthony Vidler and the Seminar- ARCH 225 Advance Topics in History, Theory and Criticism: Disembodiment, redefining the notions of form-function-fiction and, in consequence, the concept of the machine in Modern Architecture and “Pro-Cure Architecture”,
Concepts behind program and the reduction of a situation to a problem in a productive culture.
Leo´s work analyzes society, its taboos and constrains and shows the absurdity in our way of living. Leo develops concepts creating the mind set to change the reality. Projects imagine the situation as if the new concepts have been already applied; for instance in City Reservoir, one can be part of intellectual activities that would happen in a protected city. Leo founded in 2007 in New York, Civic Gaps, a initiative dedicated to studying empty or neglected spaces in the city and in 2008, in Madrid, The MOSIS Foundation- MOdels and SYStems, a base for thought, research and proposal dedicated to city and art and the relationship of both with the individual. Leo is the president and director. http://fundacionmosis.com/English/
Leo is the author of the book Rape New York published by Feminist Press and Book Works, now on translation and that will be published by Libros del Lince on September 2017. Other books include: “El efecto Goya, destrucción de estatuas” (MOPU, Madrid 2001) “El viaje sin distancia” (CENDEAC, Murcia 2006), “I condo New York” (with Simon Lund, Vitoria - Gasteiz City Hall, 2009), “Rape New York (Book Works, London, 2009 and Feminist Press, New York, 2011).
Leo´s work, through photography, videos and performances, relate public with intimacy. Good portion of her creation focus on the home and the personal relations as a mirror of the contemporary culture we live in. As an artist Leo is well known for her photographic works and installations, among them A. (National Museum of Art ReinaSofia, Madrid, June 1999, Reserva Ciudad (Espai Cultural, Madrid,Oct. 2010), Rape New York, Open Archive (Invisible Exports, New York, Jul 2009), As a Mall I really Like MOMA (MOMA, New York, 2006), Rape-Room (Project Room, ARCO, Madrid, 2002), Viaje Extraordinario (Oficina de Turismo de Gerona y Centro Cultural la Merced, 2013), Memoria Congelada (Festival of Performance, Biennial of Valencia, 2007), Escribiendo cartas de amor (Pardon Me, Liane and Danny Taran Gallery, Montreal, Canada, 2005), El Intruso (Strangers, Int. Center for Photography, New York, 2003), Bubble-Bed (B&B Unit, Smack Melon Gallery, New York, 2002), Bathrooms (ARCO, Madrid, 1998), Cabina Privada (Buades Art Gallery, Madrid, 1996) .
Jana Leo’s video works include: El Portal (2018), La Jauría (2018), La Novicia (2018) Naturalization Self-test (2013), Fight (2011), Just For You (2002), La Mano libre (2002), Retratos (1996) y La Herida (1995).