The artfully constructed and enigmatic short films of Jepser Just lure the viewer into their characters’ dramatic situations and personal relationships. Just leaves the narratives uncertain, without the fulfillment of a conclusion, and instead exploits the in-between moments, expressing a multitude of highly charged emotions in the brief durations of his films. In No Man is An Island II (2004), a group of seemingly isolated men in a lounge bar begin to sing along to Roy Orbison’s “Crying” as they share in the sentiment of the song. (A moment I personally relish.)
This Nameless Spectacle at James Cohan is the New York premier of two recent films by the Danish-born, NYC-based artist. Sirens of Chrome (2010), filmed in Detroit, and This Nameless Spectacle (2011), filmed in Paris, offer a departure from Just’s usual focus on the masculine ego and psyche. Sirens of Chrome examines women’s circumstances, particularly the experience of African-American women amidst the ruins of the post-industrial city of Detroit. This Nameless Spectacle delves into the anonymous yet extraordinary spectacles that occur around us, asking viewers to split their attention between two screens installed across from one another.
Jesper Just, Bliss and Heaven, 2005, super 16mm. Courtesy: James Cohan Gallery, Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, and Galleri Nicolai Wallner. Copyright © Jesper Just 2005
WHERE TO SEE
This Nameless Spectacle is on view through October 27 at James Cohan Gallery.