May 29 - July 26, 2009
JESPER JUST: WITH MIXED EMOTIONS – MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART DETROIT
This exhibition focuses on three works by Danish artist Jesper Just: The Lonely Villa, 2004, No Man Is an Island II, 2004, and A Vicious Undertow, 2007.
Just creates works that explore the interstitial spaces between the visual and sculptural fields, appropriating and reinventing conventions used as narrative devices in avant-garde, noir and mainstream cinema. His films often resist the narrative impulse and are constructed from fragments that usually connect traditional cinematic story lines. The process of linking inconsequential moments creates visual corridors and passages that seduce viewers with sensual and stylized imagery, and guide them into a labyrinthine experience that often contains an invisible but tangible, powerful and cryptic emotional charge. The three works selected for this exhibition touch upon unresolved human relationships and interactions mostly between men and, in the case of “A Vicious Undertow”, a triangle composed of an older woman and a younger couple.
In all three films, all first exhibited at the Perry Rubenstein Gallery, Just uses popular music as a vehicle to move the viewer in unexpected directions, counteracting and avoiding the linearity and narrative aspect that music imposes in the traditional soundtrack. The artist uses music, decontextualizing and sometimes transforming it to a point were it is barely recognizable. The juxtaposition of images and pop songs creates a non-hierarchical series of correspondences that at times seem familiar and, at others, impenetrable—engaging the viewer in an experience that is mental, emotional and physical.