This summer, I’m curating the exhibition Continuous Monuments of Jesper Just at West Den Haag. This project is part of West’s new, ambitious series of art projects in public space on the Lange Voorhout in The Hague, entitled Arcade.
First in the Arcade series is the artist Jesper Just (Denmark, 1974). The Danish artist, living in New York, has created an international furore in the art world over the past few years. His films, installations, architectural interventions and live performances have been featured at the Venice Biennale, in Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and on Times Square in New York. For the first time in ten years the work of Jesper Just will be presented in the Netherlands. This summer, a large-scale experimental presentation at West Den Haag, (organized in collaboration with guest curator Nina Folkersma) and from mid-December with a solo exhibition at EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam.
The location is always a starting point in my work and always a major protagonist.
With this statement in mind Jesper Just gives the city palace ‘Huis Huguetan’ on the Lange Voorhout a leading role in the presentation of his work. Building on his fascination for the way in which architecture influences our behaviour, the artist has created a site-specific architectural installation in public space: a constellation of exposed walls and semi-open and semi-closed structures, spread over the path of shells under the linden trees. The grid of concrete structures refers to, and derives its title from, the ‘Continuous Monument’ design of the legendary Italian architectural collective Superstudio that played an important role in the overthrow of existing concepts of architecture and design in the 60’s and 70’s. The concrete walls direct visitors to Huis Huguetan, where a selection of Just’s films of the last ten years is presented. The selection of these films has been realized in a radical way, as they are based on the soundtracks of the films. Sound has always played an important role in Just’s work. For this exhibition, the sound will function for the first time as some sort of ‘dogma’, which determines the choice and combination of the film clips. By amalgamating architectural interventions, moving images and sounds, Just creates an audio-visual overall experience, in which visitors are almost physically absorbed. This allows a different perception of the works, one that establishes a stronger relationship between the ‘poetic wanderings’ in the films and those of the viewers.
Jesper Just (1974, Copenhagen, lives and works in New York) had solo exhibitions at, amongst other places, 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. In 2013, he represented Denmark at the Venice Biennale. His work has been included in several museological collections, such as the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art; Tate Modern, London; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Detroit Institute of Arts and the Museum of Modern Art, MoMA, New York.