July 2008: A new film by the critically acclaimed Danish artist Jesper Just will have its United States premiere in his first solo exhibition at a New York museum. On view at the Brooklyn Museum from September 19, 2008, through January 4, 2009, Jesper Just: Romantic Delusions will also include three of his widely praised earlier films: Bliss and Heaven (2004, 8:10 min), The Lonely Villa (2004, 4:30 min), and No Man Is an Island (2002, 4:00 min).
Jesper Just’s films explore the complexities and contradictions of human emotion. Using overlapping cinematic, musical, and literary references, his films adapt popular songs to communicate the vulnerability and insecurity in personal relationships. Since 2002, Just has explored the nature of affection and emotional release, often through role reversals and the shifting of power between two male leads. In many of his films, his two protagonists express a yearning and restrained passion for each other that unfold into an emotional performance of song and dance. These short films, appropriate Hollywood’s polished production values but then diverge from the usual narrative story arc in favor of creating a film noir-like atmosphere rather than a conventional plotline. Recent works continue to develop his moody and intimate environments, but with a new focus on female protagonists. His films comment on gender politics and the possibility of relationships across a generational divide, but more important, they present a broader, existential search for identity.
Jesper Just: Romantic Delusions marks the first time an all-film exhibition will be presented at the Brooklyn Museum. On view in the Blum Gallery, three films will be projected on walls and one film will be shown on a monitor. Just’s new work, Romantic Delusions, currently in production in Romania, was commissioned by Liverpool Biennial 08 International; U-TURN Quadrennial for Contemporary Art; and Galleri Christina Wilson, Copenhagen; the Danish Arts Council; and Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris. The exhibition’s publication, Jesper Just: Romantic Delusions, is made possible by the Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York, and the Victoria Miro Gallery, London.
Jesper Just was born in Copenhagen in 1974 and is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen. He currently resides in New York and Copenhagen. His work has been shown extensively worldwide, in both galleries and museums, from the Hammer in Los Angeles to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. His work is in the collections of institutions such as the Tate in London, the Castello di Rivoli in Turin, and the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.
Jesper Just: Romantic Delusions is organized by Patrick Amsellem, Associate Curator, Photography, Brooklyn Museum. Dr. Amsellem is also co-curator, with Eugenie Tsai, of a new long-term installation dedicated exclusively to contemporary art, with an emphasis on recent acquisitions, which will open concurrently with the Jesper Just exhibition. Other presentations of contemporary art at the Brooklyn Museum this fall include the major retrospective Gilbert & George as well as Burning Down the House: Feminist Selections from the Collection.