CONTACT
CV
TEXT
© 2009 - 17 Lena Inken Schaefer


The days are long, the nights are cold, argobooks 2015
Ausgestellte Arbeit, 2014
Pyjama St. John, 2014
Stabsichelbogen (Bar Crescent Arc), 2014
5000 to 50000, 2011/13
46 Fragments from Belarusian 100 Ruble bills, 2011
Closed Systems / Ronde, 2011
Monotony and Change (It all belongs to you*), 2010
Flute I, 2010
Peacock Island, 2008/2009
Collection of 100 Blankets, 2007-10





The days are long, the nights are cold

with texts by Jan Brandt, Roman Ehrlich,
Hanna Lemke, Nils Markwardt and
Dominikus Müller

Design: Till Sperrle (ITF)
argobooks, 2015
German/English
Softcover, 224 p. (112 color)
ISBN 9783942700610
€19.80

Order: Motto Berlin / Argobooks / E-Mail





Ausgestellte Arbeit, Heidelberger Kunstverein, 2015



Ausgestellte Arbeit, Heidelberger Kunstverein, 2015



Ausgestellte Arbeit, Heidelberger Kunstverein, 2015
Fotos: Eva Gentner

Foyer: ›Ausgestellte Arbeit‹
Lena Inken Schaefer

Lena Inken Schaefers Ausstellung im Foyer beschreibt einen würdevollen Akt der Transformation: Vier Vitrinen präsentieren Objekte ihrer eigenen ›Spezies‹. ›Ausgestellte Arbeit‹ widmet sich der Geschichte einer einzelnen Vitrine, allerdings ist diese Geschichte der Vitrine nicht dokumentarisch aufgearbeitet, sondern physisch in ihre Einzelteile zerlegt. Das Objekt Schau-kasten, das qua seiner Bestimmung andere auserwählte Objekte im besten Fall zum Sprechen bringen soll, ist durch Lena Inken Schaefer vom aufbewahrenden Objekt zum kommunizierenden Subjekt transformiert worden. Die Messingprofile, die die Glasscheiben der Museumsvitrine umrahmten und zusammenhielten, wurden mit einer Metallsäge scheibchenweise in gleich große Stücke zersägt und anschließend neu angeordnet. Durch den Akt des Zerlegens ist ein flexibles, geradezu mimetisches Werk entstanden, das in der Lage ist, sich an seine äußere Umgebung anzupassen. Der Autor Roman Ehrlich formuliert in seinem Katalogbeitrag ›Ausgestellte Arbeit‹ (in: Lena Inken Schaefer: ›Die Tage sind lang, die Nächte kalt‹, Berlin 2015, S. 119) den Gedanken, dass die Dekonstruktion des Schaukastens wie der Rückbau menschlichen Schaffens wirkt. Die komplexe Struktur der Objektwelt wird schrittweise in den rechten Winkel rückgeführt, der in seinen neuen Kontexten sofort wieder an die Arbeit der Selbstausdehnung des Menschen in das Artefakt erinnert: an Nähmuster, Parkettböden, Reifenprofile, Ketten, Gürtel, aber auch an Stellvertreter der überflüssigen Arbeit: Labyrinthe, die vom Menschen geschaffen sind, um sich darin der eigenen Orientierungsfähigkeit und Problemlösungskompetenz gewahr zu werden. ›Ausgestellte Arbeit‹ wird zum universellen Ornament – zu einer Arbeit, deren Struktur an Textiles erinnert, an Handwerk, daran, dass das, was wir in Vitrinen vorfinden, klassifiziert wurde und je nach Kontext Wertigkeit erlangt. Eine geometrische Struktur, die über ihre Struktur hinaus über gesellschaftliche Strukturen spricht. (Susanne Weiß)






›Ausgestellte Arbeit‹, 2015 (Replik)
Gips, 29,7 × 21 × 1,5 cm, Auflage 5 (+2 AP)
2015 präsentierte Lena Inken Schaefer ›Ausgestellte Arbeit‹, eine Installation in vier Vitrinen im Heidelberger Kunstverein: Die Messingprofile, welche die Glasscheiben einer Museumsvitrine umrahmten und zusammenhielten, wurden in gleich große Stücke zersägt und anschließend in Mustern neu angeordnet. Für ihre Jahresgabe hat Schaefer eines dieser so entstandenen Ornamente in Gips abgeformt. Eine Technik, mit der seit Jahrhunderten Originale reproduziert werden, um Kopien zu verbreiten, zu sammeln und auszustellen.
LINK








Mat plant (Matte Pflanze), 2014 / 2015

Series of 12, water color on paper, each 70x100 cm

Die Motive wurden aus einzelnen Formen zusammengesetzt, die dem Muster eines 50 000-Mark-Scheins der deutschen Inflation aus den 1920er Jahren entnommen sind. Die einzelnen, nur ein und zwei Millimeter kleinen Elemente des originalen Geldscheinmusters wurden vergrößert und dienten als Vorlage zur Anfertigung von Zeichenschablonen aus Stahl, mit denen diese Motive anschließend gezeichnet wurden.


The days are long, the nights are cold (June, Pyjama), 2014
dyed wool fabric (St. Johns wort), 2 pcs.


Gestauchter Spross (Compacted Sprout), 2014
24 handkerchiefs, dyed cotton (onion skin)



While the walnut was spending time with human beings, the nut itself grew bigger while the shell got thinner
Dyed wool fabric (walnut shells), cupboard made of walnut, 2014


Pyjama St. John, Künstlerstätte Stuhr-Heiligenrode, 2014


She stirs the fire, he sits against the wall, 2014
Paper cutouts on wall




Wooden table (self-portrait), beech wood, 2014



Back then, it grew as tall as the trees in whose shade it now resides (fern), 2014
Dyed cotton fabric (fern), 10 fossilized ferns



50,000 (Table), 2014
Water color on cotton paper, 600 x 60 cm
Exhibition view Krome Gallery 2014








Stabsichelbogen (Bar Crescent Arc), 2014
HD- Video, 19 min



Erdkarussell (Earth Carousel), 2014
158 Dia Slides & 158 drawings, water color on paper, 42 x 29,7 cm




strong, professional, extra, 2014
24 x 11 x 7 cm
foam, gypsum, water color



50,000 (Separation), 2013
watercolor on cotton paper, 60 x 80 cm




50,000 (Separation), 2013
watercolor on cotton paper, 60 x 80 cm








Exhibition view Krome Gallery, Berlin 2013
Water color on paper, 520x 92 cm, 10 pcs. 50x 90 cm each



5,000 to 50,000, 2011/13

(...) In the work of Lena Inken Schaefer, the difference between signifying sign and ornament also stands out. Ten different handmade drawings are presented in a five-meter long series under Plexiglas. An astute eye will notice the almost imperceptible differences between the patterns of the two series. In one drawing, a pattern is repeated from the preceding drawing, while the color is adapted to subsequent drawings. A shift transpires that is only actualized with an awareness of the meaning of these decorative patterns. In the series presented a transformation takes place, a smooth transition, from pink to green. From 5000 to 50 000.

Lena Inken Schaefer has painted the patterns of banknotes. These patterns are the genetic code of the banknote and they also make it possible to figure out which particular bill they represent. However, Lena Inken Schaefer has not only removed these patterns from their context, but has also enlarged them multiple times. In so doing, they are ultimately stripped of any historical referencing or recognizability. What remains is only an aleatoric element devoid of meaning, which could be perceived as a decorative element. However, these patterns tell the story of the period of inflation in Germany in 1922, when German money lost so much value in such a short time that banknotes had to be produced non-stop.

Money- an element that normally enables exchange and simultaneously determines its rules- breaks down, just like its recognition-enabling signs, produced by the halves and combined together, appear as if they were the image of an ancient find in the manner of archaeological excavations.
(Krome Gallery, June 2013)








Fragments of a Belarusian ten thousand ruble note, 2012
Installation view, Langer Atem #5, Symbolisches Kapital, Color pencil on paper, Heidelberger Kunstverein 2013











46 Fragments from Belarusian 100 Ruble bills, water color on paper, Berlin 2011
Exhibition view 4D, Berlin, 24.- 30. 10. 2011










Closed Systems/ Ronde (Blank), 2011
Exhibition view Kunstwerke Berlin 2011
© Photo: based in berlin 2011 / Amin Akhtar

Closed Systems, 2011

Prototype display case, 260x140x80 cm
Donation of the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR), Berlin
Exhibit: Iron crank designed for opening and closing the display;
Design: Michele De Lucchi, Milan

Prototyp einer Vitrine, 260x140x80 cm
Schenkung des Bundesamts für Raumordnung (BBR), Berlin
Ausstellungsstück: Eisenkurbel, angefertigt um die Vitrine zu öffnen und zu schließen
Design: Michele De Lucchi, Mailand

Ronde, 2011

Ronde, brazen coin blanks, exhibition view Berlin 2011
Ronde, Münzrohlinge (Messing), Ausstellungsansicht Berlin 2011


Lena Inken Schaefer's works are objects which often hide an unclear meaning full of unveiled secrets. Her concern lies in interactions between ornaments placed in a landscape. Their materiality changes its meaning and is read through gestures and actions and their processes. Perceptions are interrupted as views are altered.
Her works are characterized by a strong conceptual approach. She examines the question of visibility, history and theory. She talks about ornament as a tool of separation and decoration as seen in the evolution of ornamental behavior, which used to separate itself from its surroundings.
Schaefer pursues the theme of absence to degrees of similarity and abstraction and their evolution via movement, material and different associative contexts.
(Magdalena Magiera, June 2011)




















Monotony and Change (It All Belongs to You), 2010
Locations: SPLACE, Panoramastr.1, Berlin &
In front of 'Haus der Statistik', Berlin (Otto-Braun-Str./ Karl-Marx-Allee, Alexanderplatz)
© Photo/ Video: Patricia Lewandowska



The work was conceived for the public part of Berlin Alexanderplatz as part of the exhibition series SPLACE, held during the summer of 2010 at the former German Democratic Republic’s (GDR) exhibition space in the base of the city’s Fernsehturm (“television tower”).

Seventeen numbered iron cranks were hanging on hooks along the rear of a wooden bar, facing the windows, directing the viewer to a second place of interest: a street corner, five minutes away by foot. On the window were two 594 x 841mm printouts. The first one emulated the design of instruction manuals; the following text was printed in small font: 

1. Take the numbered iron crank off the hook
2. Leave exhibition space with iron handle and go to destination Otto-Braun-Strasse, corner Karl-Marx-Allee
3. Orientation: 1. Pass World Clock 2. Follow tram tracks to major intersection 3. Cross Alexander Street 4. Cross Otto-Braun-Straße 
4. Locate the old paving slab in composite construction fence area
5. Find plate with 17mm nut
6. Stick the not banded crank end in the nut
7. The plate is now ready for use
8. Carefully turn iron crank clockwise
9. Immediately terminate process for threaded resistance
10. The plate can now be considered
11. After finishing bring back the nut to the starting position, thus repeating process of rotation in the opposite direction. 

The second poster displayed an enlarged version of the original map of the construction site, provided by the city of Berlin, including details of changes to be done during the building phase.




FLUTE, 2010


14/01/10 - 5 am at Stirling Gardens, Perth, Australia

(...) At predawn on the 14th of January 2010, Lena Inken and a group of volunteers entered Stirling Gardens at 5am the day before exhibition′s official opening, settling in with a collection of handmade flutes made specifically to imitate Australian bird calls. "Flute I is more a work about the Garden, than for the Garden," she said. "It is an examination of different types of birds, their voices and ornamental behaviours."(...)
In responding to the Stirling Gardens site, Schaefer contacted a Perth-based biologist who gave her information about local and seasonal bird life, and then forwarded her request to CSIRO, who provided mp3 files of some of the local bird noises. Schaefer passed these files onto Frenchman François Morel, an expert in developing different types of flutes to imitate bird calls. "Normally he needs around three years to develop a new flute, so I was incredibly happy when the flute-prototypes he developed for my project arrived, carefully packed in wooden boxes," Lena said.
"The first reason for playing the flutes at 5am was to avoid attracting the public. I wanted to make it clandestine and intimate. (...) All three saw these flutes for the first time at 5am. They had not practised them before and it was a spontaneous action. They listened to the mp3 files via headphones and tried to imitate them with instruments they do not know at all. They did not pay attention to the birds in their surroundings and if they would answer, all three of them played at the same time."
(Katie Lenanton; in: TAT #5, Perth, 2010)




Album II, 2009

4/11/09 - 6pm - 10 pm at Hirschfeld, Berlin
The installation consisted of 2 Displays (45x30x10 cm), one for ALBUM II which
contained 16 sheets filled with 72 equal banknote- cutouts (10,000 Mark, Germany, 1923)
at the beginning of the show, and a second empty one for the guests, where they put their
brought exchange item to get one of the cutouts.


Album I, Installationview Columbus Art Foundation 2009
60 sheets, collection of papermoney cutouts 2005 - 2008
© Photo: Werner Hannappel




The wood floor of the Otaheite Cabinet on the Pfaueninsel, near Berlin, cross section
of a palm trunk
, 2009
Drawing based on a photograph



The opened wood floor of the Otaheite Cabinet on the Pfaueninsel, near Berlin, based on a photograph
by the restorer J. Messing
, 2009
Drawing based on a photograph



The hand-painted wallpaper of the Otaheite Cabinet on the Pfaueninsel, near Berlin, 2009/2014
Drawing based on a photograph


Fingerprints on paper in aluminium envelope, hidden under the original wooden
parquett at Berlin / Peacock Island / Castle / Otaheitisches Kabinett while restoration
works since July 2009 by Lena Inken Schaefer. No original visible for ±100 years.

Finger prints on paper, wrapped in aluminum; located since 2009 under the original parquet
floors of the Otaheite Cabinet in the castle on the Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island), near Berlin;
it was possible to place it there during restoration work. The parquet was last removed in 1870,
so these fingerprints will probably remain there for the next hundred years. The castle on the
Pfaueninsel is a kind of pseudo-building whose one-dimensional architecture and construction
are based entirely on illusion. The Otaheite Cabinet, a circular tea room, seems to oscillate
peculiarly between antiquity and the South Pacific: it is lined with canvas and designed like
a bamboo hut. In addition, the real windows have been filled with fictive views of an illusionistic
exotic landscape, in which the castellan’s house on the Pfaueninsel and the distant marble palace
are found, surrounded by pineapples and parrots. The pattern from the wood f loor is supposed
to represent a cross section of a palm trunk. Otaheite is the former name of the South Pacific
island Tahiti.




Collection of one hundred wool blankets, 2007




Four wool blankets, folded (blue), Four wool blankets, folded (green) , 2009
View of the exhibition in the Columbus Art Foundation, Leipzig, 2009
© Photo: Werner Hannappel