press release

For the first time in Denmark, Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, presents a comprehensive and spectacular exhibition of both brand new and older video works by Danish artist Jesper Just. These works are shown as a part of U-TURN Quadrennial for Contemporary Art, and the three major installed video works are supplemented by an archive providing the unique opportunity to experience - or re-experience - Just's collected works in a study setting. 

One of the works, the total installation Romantic Delusions (2008), has been created specifically for Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, and has been produced as a close collaboration of U-TURN, The Liverpool Biennial, Galleri Christina Wilson and Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin. 

As another first in Denmark, the exhibition furthermore includes Just's video installation of three thematically interconnected films A Voyage in Dwelling, A Room of One's Own and A Question of Silence (2008). The final title to be presented is Just's debut work from 2002 No Man Is an Island. 

Central to all three works is the emotional development of their main characters, often related to an individual departure from or breach to conventional sex-role patterns, and staged as an existential development process which each indvidual has to live through in his or her own way. 

The new work Romantic Delusions problematizes notions of the community of 'the new Europe' through the depiction of intimate and conflict-ridden human relations in the Romanian capital Bucharest and the port of Constanza. Based on a hermaphrodite's issues of self image and problematic relations to other humans and the surrounding world, Just investigates conceptions of a happy European community. With this work Just adds a political and historical dimension to his oeuvre.

The three films A Voyage in Dwelling, A Room of One's Own and A Question of Silence - all shown at Nikolaj's Upper Gallery - are concerned with the internal as well as physical journey of a middle-aged woman living out her desire: how she by turns enjoys, recoils from and denies her own development. The films show the movement from one psychological stage to another and from one destination to another as a frame of mind adopted by the protagonist. 

The title of Just's debut film No Man Is an Island refers to the famous quote by 17th century English poet John Donne, emphasizing how no human being can exist entirely alone. In this film, a middle-aged man is waltzing round the Blaagaards Square in Copenhagen in slow-motion, while a younger man is sitting on the square, alone and crying. This scenario, accompanied by ethereal jazz, comes across as a 50's film pastiche, both self-ironic and and slightly unreal. 

Jesper Just was born in Copenhagen in 1974 and lives in Copenhagen and New York. Educated at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2003, he is represented by Galleri Christina Wilson in Copenhagen, Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin in Paris and Perry Rubinstein Gallery in New York.

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New video works by Jesper Just