Shelter Nr. 365, 2019
In the work “Shelter No. 365 (2019)”, Jana Sophia Nolle has taken artifacts from the not too distant past and combined them with artifacts from the present to create a temporary homeless structure.
The use of discarded materials from the past along with discarded materials from the present reflect on San Francisco’s continued transition as it reshapes itself in accordance with a changing demographic and an evolving world, inevitably displacing certain residents in favor of others. Long ago, before the advent of agriculture, all humans lived in easily reconstructed shelters, as nomads on the constant move after resources that would not sit still. Now, it is only the disenfranchised, the unhoused, living on the move within a world of walls and rules that continue this tradition.
Using historical artifacts discovered in the wake of current redevelopment — items which are, themselves, being displaced to make way for the future — in this sculpture helps to tie the piece to the past, while using discarded materials from the present is indicative of the lack of resources that people on the fringes of a very wealthy, modern San Francisco are left to contend with.
This sculpture, an interpretation of an unhoused person's temporary shelter, is framed by the living room of an expensive Edwardian home constructed as part of the rebuilding process from the 1906 earthquake and fire, sharing a history with the artifacts for which it provides a stage. This contrast, the cared for beside the discarded, the old against the new, reinforces the disparity between winners and losers as this constant societal upheaval continues on its indomitable way.
This work evolved in collaboration with “Ineligible” – Art/Archeology – a project by San Francisco State University, 2019/2020 and Santo Tirso Museum of International Sculpture.