Christian Jankowski was born in 1968 in Göttingen, Germany, and studied at the University of Fine Arts, Hamburg, in Germany. In his artistic actions and media artworks, he makes use of film, video, and photography, but also painting, sculpture, and installation. He lives in Berlin.
Jankowski's work consists of performative interactions between himself with non-art professionals, between contemporary art and the so-called 'world outside of art'. These interactions give insight into the popular understanding of art, while incorporating many of contemporary art's leading interests in contemporary society: regarding lifestyle, psychology, rituals and celebrations, self-perception, competition, and mass-produced and luxury commodities. Over time, Jankowski has collaborated with magicians, politicians, news anchors, and members of the Vatican, to name just a few. In each case, the context for the interaction and the participants are given a degree of control over how Jankowski's work develops and the final form that it takes. Jankowski documents these performative collaborations using the mass media formats that are native to the contexts in which he stages his work––film, photography, television, newspapers––which lends his work its populist appeal. Jankowski's work can be seen both as a reflection, deconstruction, and critique of a society of spectacle as well as a reflection, deconstruction, and critique of art, which has given itself over to spectacle and thereby endangered its critical potential.
Christian Jankowski has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and his work is in the collection of numerous international museums. Recent solo exhibitions include: Heavy Weight History, CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (2013); Llorando por La Marcha de la Humanidad, Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City (2012); Casting Jesus, MARCO, Rome (2012); The Finest Art on Water, Frieze Art Fair, London (2011); Now For Something Completely Different, BAWAG Foundation, Vienna (2009); and Dienstbesprechung, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (2008). Jankowski participated in the Venice Biennale in 1999 and 2013 as well as in the 2002 Whitney Biennial. The main galleries representing Christian Jankowski are Lisson Gallery in London, Friedrich Petzel Gallery in New York, and Proyectos Monclova in Mexico City.