It is still possible to see the exhibition at James Cohan Gallery, New York, of Danish artist Jesper Just until October 27th. This is the artist’s first exhibition at James Cohan Gallery and the first solo exhibition in New York since his survey show at the Brooklyn Museum in 2008. The artist is well known for employing high production value cinematography to create film works that subvert the usual stereotypes that have come to be associated with Hollywood’s mainstream film industry.
The exhibition marked the NY premiere of two important recent works: This Nameless Spectacle (2011) filmed in Paris (stills from video), and Sirens of Chrome, filmed in Detroit. The artist also produced a new work for the exhibition. Installed in the gallery’s main space, Just’s two-channel work This Nameless Spectacle takes its title from American poet William Carlos Williams’ poem The Right of Way. In this poem Williams describes the fascination with which we observe anonymous actions, the “nameless spectacles” which surround us every day, everywhere. In the film, Just tracks his two protagonists through Paris’ famous Buttes Chaumont park.
This Nameless Spectacle is presented on two massive panoramic screens that face each other. The action is mirrored and split between the two screens, bouncing from one to the other. This choreography is intended to wholly envelop the viewer in both the imagery and the narrative, simultaneously rendering the viewer a witness and an important player in the action. Dependent on the viewers’ gaze and attention that focuses on the anonymous and nameless spectacle witnessed within the film, the story is complete. This Nameless Spectacle was commissioned by the Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne, France. The work was shown as part of a larger exhibition of Just’s films in 2011 and is now part of the museum’s permanent collection.
Jesper Just has been selected to represent Denmark at the Venice Biennale in 2013. The artist has been commissioned to create a new film installation for the Danish Pavilion. Working in closely with prominent London-based firm of Caruso St John Architects on the Pavilion’s architecture. Just will re-imagine and transform the Pavilion into a seamless experience for the Biennale visitor.
Also in 2013 a survey exhibition of the artist’s work will be mounted at the Herning Museum for Contemporary Art, a new Steven Holl-designed museum in Jutland, Denmark, which will include a new commission to be filmed in LA.
Jesper Just lives and works in New York, NY. His work is included in the collections of the Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh; the Guggenheim Museum, NY; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; the Moderna Museet, Stockholm; the Museum of Modern Art, NY and the Tate Modern, London, in addition to many others.
Selected by Ingrid Melano