June 1–November 24, 2013
The Danish Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition—la Biennale di Venezia,
presented by the Danish Arts Council
The Danish Arts Council announces details of Jesper Just’s new film and site-specific installation Intercourses, along with the parallel international graphic campaign by design studio Project Projects for the 55th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia, June 1–November 24, 2013.
Jesper Just confronts the paradoxical nature intrinsic to Biennale commissions in the Giardini: the pavilion as physical representation of one country in another country. Using this as a point of departure, Intercourses examines themes of architectural pastiche and cultural dislocation by creating an immersive, multi-faceted environment. Made up of five channels, the film is set in a replica of Paris, France, in a suburb of Hangzhou, China. Unlike many replica cities, this one is fully functional, though in contrasting states of construction and decay. Just’s treatment of the location challenges the viewer’s preconceived notions of space and time, rendering obsolete the distinction between real or imagined memories, between factual or fictional connections to a place.
The film follows three men, interwoven within the scenes, but it is the city that is the main character. Just explains, “I’ve worked in the past with the idea of architecture performing, with a building or structure as a main performer, a main protagonist. And here there was the possibility of working with a whole city. I was thinking about ways to make the city the protagonist or mediator between these characters, making them connect via the architecture. I wanted to explore how you could take something as superficial as this architecture and then turn it into something connecting humans.”
The projections will vary in size from one meter to 15 meters depending on the scale of the room they inhabit, underscoring the spatial element of Just’s presentation. The exhibition begins before the visitor has entered the pavilion, with architectural interventions defined by Just that create a new geography, engaging the viewer on a visual but also a physical level. The architecture will orchestrate the audience’s relation to the work, choreographing the viewer’s experience of the pavilion.
The parallel graphic campaign by design studio Project Projects will communicate and extend the ideas of doubling and dislocation intrinsic to Just’s installation. Rather than documenting or representing the complex filmic piece, Project Projects will implement a conceptual graphic strategy for display in both physical spaces and online. The physical element consists of distributed posters that juxtapose black-and-white stills from Just’s film with a newly-developed graphic symbol. This symbol is derived from a Chinese character that is inverted, manipulated in form, and iterated in multiple stylistic variations. The result is a two-fold abstraction that is part language, part graphic, representing the liminal space between multiple worlds. During the Venice Biennale, different sets of posters will be posted publicly in five satellite sites (Copenhagen, Hong Kong, New York, Paris, and Shanghai) to present a parallel world and window onto the project. An accompanying website offers glimpses and fragments of the filmic piece.
“Intercourses signifies that which lies in-between: dialogues, connections, and exchanges,” explain Project Projects principals Prem Krishnamurthy, Adam Michaels, and Rob Giampietro. “Instead of taking the Pavilion as its singular location, our graphic design strategy reaches out to other contexts, elsewhere, in a manner that is both translingual and context-aware.”
About Jesper Just
Jesper Just was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1974, and he attended The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art. He currently lives and works in New York.
Solo exhibitions include This Is A Landscape of Desire, Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Herning, Denmark (2013); Sharjah Biennial 11, Sharjah, UAE (2013); This Nameless Spectacle, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK (2011); Jesper Just, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal (2009); Romantic Delusions, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, USA (2008); Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, UK (2008); Jesper Just, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, NL and S.M.A.K. / Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent, Belgium (2007); Black Box: Jesper Just, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, USA (2006); Something to Love, Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2006); Busan Biennale, Busan, KR (2006); True Love is Yet to Come, Performa 05, Weiss Studio, New York, USA (2005).
Just’s work is featured in numerous public collections including the Guggenheim Museum (New York), Museum of Modern Art (New York), Tate Modern (London), Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, (Spain), Musée d’Art Moderne (Luxembourg), Israel Museum (Jerusalem), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Denmark), and the Danish National Gallery (Denmark), among others.
Jesper Just is represented by James Cohan Gallery, New York; Galerie Perrotin, Paris; and Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen.
About the Danish Arts Council and la Biennale di Venezia
The Danish Arts Council Committee for International Visual Arts has responsibility for Denmark’s participation in la Biennale di Venezia. Denmark has taken part in the exhibitions of la Biennale di Venezia since 1895, and its participation is financed with funds from the Danish Arts Council. The Danish Arts Council Committee for International Visual Arts consists of Jette Gejl Kristensen (chairman), Lise Harlev, Jesper Elg, Mads Gamdrup, and Anna Krogh.
The project is funded by the Danish Arts Council. The film project is co-produced by Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen, with support from ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum. The project has received additional support from Nørgaard på Strøget, Copenhagen.
About Project Projects
Project Projects is a design studio focusing on print, exhibition, identity, and interactive work with clients in the arts, education, and cultural sectors, in addition to independent curatorial and publishing projects. Founded in 2004 in New York, the studio is led by principals Prem Krishnamurthy, Adam Michaels, and Rob Giampietro.
Project Projects is a two-time Finalist in the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards and has received numerous distinctions, including grants from the Graham Foundation and NYSCA for its independent projects, as well as praise in publications such as Artforum, Frieze, Art in America, The New Yorker, and more. More information at www.projectprojects.com.
Information about the project:
Lotte S. Lederballe Pedersen, The Danish Agency for Culture, +45 33 74 45 37, lsl [at] kulturstyrelsen.dk