This winter EYE
is presenting an exhibition devoted to the Danish artist Jesper Just (1974). Just created an international stir with cinematographic works in which he explores gender, desire, relations and identity in a stylized visual idiom. His films, 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. The exhibition at EYE Filmmuseum focuses on Just's big spatial film installations.
The artist Jesper Just explores in his work the possibilities of presenting film as a spatial installation in the space of the museum. He often uses extreme dimensions, such as 25-metre-wide projections, to create presentations on multiple screens between which visitors move. 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, lighting and sound. He employs a cinematographic language commonly associated with lavish motion picture productions for the cinema: sophisticated use of lighting; 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 works 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.
EYE has been following the career of Just for years, in part because of his research into the spatial presentation of his works. 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. In addition, EYE devotes attention to the interface between cinema and visual art, focusing on spatial presentations of film works.
Jesper Just 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; and recently at West, The Hague. In 2013, he represented Denmark at the Venice Biennale. His work is included in the museum collections of, among others, the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; KIASMA, Helsinki; and the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Accompanying the exhibition is a programme of films, talks and events in the cinemas at EYE.