Jesper Just has become internationally renowned for works which explore the ambiguous territory of gender, desire, relationships and identity. Early films explored and circumvented the complicated representations of masculinity in Hollywood cinema and throughout popular culture, and challenged viewers’ expectations of those conventions.
The videos Continuous Monuments (2017), Servitudes #6 (2015), In the Shadow/of a Spectacle/is the View/of the Crowd (2015) and Llano (2012) instead all show a solitary woman interacting with a building or a structure, and how she uses this in a different way, by treating it like a musical instrument. By using a mixture of multiple video channels, sound installation, sculptural and architectural interventions the works follow female characters in the realm urban space, exploring the body’s relationship to public and private space and the limits and boundaries of the body itself in a search for selfhood. How they define the limits between their bodies and their surroundings, both physically and internally.
An important feature in the work of Jesper Just is, what he himself calls, ‘the idea of interconnecting elements of the films: space, sound and visuals’. Often his videos are presented in a way that the architectural interventions, the moving images and the soundtracks of the films are interconnected and thus interact with each other. Images and sounds merge into each other, so new combinations and new compositions are created. By assembling these elements, Just creates a compelling audio-visual experience, in which the visitor is almost physically absorbed. This makes it possible to have another perception of the works, a perception with which a stronger relationship is realized between the ‘poetic wanderings’ in the films and those of the observers. Music and resonance serves as structural elements and vessels for connection – linking the characters, films and the experience for the viewers like an invisible web.
Jesper Just (1974, Copenhagen, lives and works in New York) had solo exhibitions at Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit; Miami Art Museum; S.M.A.K., Ghent; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Brooklyn Museum; BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Herning; MMCA, The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, South Korea; Portland Museum, Portland and others.
His works are in public collections such as The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea; Arken Museum of Modern Art, Ishøj, Denmark; AROS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Australia; Carnegie Museum, Pittsburg, USA; EMMA, Helsinki, Finland; FRAC, Fonds Regional D Art Contemporain Champagne-Ardenne, France; Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA; Herbert F. Johnson Museum, New York, USA; Herning Kunstmuseum, Herning, Denmark; Honart Museum, Teheran, Iran; Israel Museum, Israel; Kiasma, Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki; Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek, Denmark; Malmø Konstmuseum, Malmø ,Sweden; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; MoMA, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada; Musac, Leon, Spain; Musee d’Art Moderne, Luxembourg; Statens Museum, Danish National Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark; Tate Modern, London, England.