Magazine article Artforum International

Jesper Just: James Cohan Gallery

Magazine article Artforum International

Jesper Just: James Cohan Gallery

Article excerpt

Even before we digest the action in Jesper Just's video installation This Nameless Spectacle, 2011, the work strikes us as visual experience: Its setup is literally encompassing in that it is projected on two long facing walls between which its viewers must stand. Other film and video artists have explored this device, for example Shirin Neshat, who, however, used smaller projections and set them apart on the short rather than the long walls of a long room, making it impossible to see both at the same time--the viewer had to turn from one to the other. Just works instead on the room's long walls so that both projections are visible simultaneously, at least in part, almost everywhere in the space, unless we actually turn our back, on one of them. His extension of cinema's ability to swallow us in its world may also recall, for example, Pipilotti Rist's Pour Your Body Out (7354 Cubic Meters), her 2008 installation at the Museum of Modern Art. The comparison reveals an inverse logic, though, for while that work aimed at hallucinogenic sensory overload, Just rigorously returns his viewers to themselves.

The video begins with a woman rolling herself in a wheelchair through Paris's picturesque Parc des Buttes Chaumont. Just alternates between shots from her point of view--with the two screens showing the scenes to either side of her, as if we too were in her chair--and shots that describe her, whether close up or from afar. This fluctuation will continue in carefully deliberated ways throughout the piece, heightening the cinematic devices of shot and countershot, our identification with the characters and our voyeurist viewing of them, to engage us in a game of construction and interpretation in which we are constantly piecing together the environment of the video and where and who we are in it. As the woman leaves the park and heads home, a teenage boy follows her in a perhaps threatening chase, but she safely reaches her apartment in a high-rise housing block. Here she steps out of her wheel-chair--at home, apparently, she can walk fine--only to be stricken by a beam of sunlight reflected from the glass of a distant apartment window, which her young pursuer, having himself also returned home, is manipulating. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.