The Danish artist Jesper Just (b. 1974, Copenhagen) is internationally known for cinematographic works in which he explores ambiguous subjects such as gender, desire, relations and identity. His film works, installations, architectural interventions and live performances have been shown at the Venice Biennale (Danish pavilion) and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and at Performa 15 and on Times Square, both in New York. This exhibition at EYE focuses on Just's big spatial film installations.
Jesper Just is an artist who deals very specifically with the possibilities of making spatial installations out of film in the space of the museum. He often uses extreme dimensions, such as 25-metre-wide projections, to create presentations on various screens between which the visitor moves. Complementing these are complex sound and light installations, and sometimes extensive interventions in the existing architecture.
Just, who lives by turns in New York, Copenhagen and Graz, assembles a large ‘production team’ for each film, with trained actors and a professional crew for camera, light and sound. He employs a cinematographic language commonly associated with lavish motion picture productions for the cinema: a sophisticated use of light (painterly chiaroscuro); remarkable changes in perspective and mise en scène in majestic tableaux vivants; precisely framed images and flowing camera movements. Just exploits all this not to make feature films but to create remarkable film installations. These are works that show disconcerting, somewhat ominous or unsettling situations through which viewers have to find their way, exposed to their own feeling of vicarious shame or surprize.
Jesper Just (1974) has exhibited work at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Performa 15, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit; Miami Art Museum, Miami; S.M.A.K., Ghent; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Herning. In 2013, he represented Denmark at the Venice Biennale. His work is included in the museum collections of, among others: Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk; Tate Modern, London; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; KIASMA, Helsinki; Arario Gallery, Cheonan, South Korea; Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit; and Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Accompanying the exhibition is an extensive programme of films, talks and events in the cinemas at EYE.
EYE has been following the career of Just for years not only because of its distinctive artistic quality and substance, but also because of his particular focus on the spatial presentation of his work.
That interest in large-scale spatial installations dovetails perfectly with the EYE exhibition programme, which highlights what film can be besides a feature screened in a movie theatre, and which explores the intersection of visual art and cinema, a key aspect of which is the spatial presentation of film works.
This summer, West (The Hague) is inviting Jesper Just to create a work based on sound for Arcade, a new series of art projects in the public space on Lange Voorhout in The Hague.