Witte de With is pleased to present Jesper Just’s first solo exhibition in the Netherlands, comprising of two major new films and a selection of his previous work.

The exhibition will be running simultaneously at Witte de With and the Ursula Blickle Foundation in Kraichtal, Germany. A selection of Just’s films will also be screened in the ursula blickle videolounge at the Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, during the month of April. And Just’s works will be on show at S.M.A.K in Ghent, Belgium, from April through June.

Jesper Just, who works mainly in film, represents one of the most interesting and pressing artistic positions in moving image production today. His works are extremely multi-faceted, in fact so layered and complex that the more one tries to understand or analyse them, the more obscure they become. The harder one tries to read the behaviour of Just’s protagonists and the relationships between them, the deeper one stumbles into psychological traps, graciously and generously positioned by the artist to manoeuvre the viewer into an isolated state of seduction. Nothing is quite like watching one of Just’s films for the first time. The viewer is caught in a moment that the brain is not programmed to protect, where reason is not ‘loaded’ to fight off attacks of love, longing, hurt, and deep existential fear. One is suddenly swamped by one’s own raw, emotional, and sub-conscious reactions.

Works such as Invitation to Love (2003), A Fine Romance (2004) or The Lonely Villa (2004) are often referred to as being ‘homoerotic’ or addressing eroticised father-son relationships. This may indeed spring to mind, considering that the majority of his casts are male and that the men do interact with one another in a highly charged fashion. However, Just has stated that he does not seek to create narratives that must be ‘read’ or ‘understood’ in any particular way, suggesting that there is not solely one way of interpreting the dynamics between the characters. Rather, the works should be regarded as incessantly shifting parts in Just’s larger socio-political enquiry into the nature of human interaction and relationships: their pitfalls, failures and perversions, but also their dignity and beauty.

New Production

In view of Just’s rapidly growing international acclaim, Witte de With is delighted that Just is using this exhibition as an opportunity to produce a new work, entitled A Vicious Undertow (2007). This was initiated by the artist, Witte de With and the Ursula Blickle Foundation and is supported by S.M.A.K.
Supported by Danish Arts Council.


In conjunction with this exhibition project, WdW Publishers, the Ursula Blickle Foundation and S.M.A.K. are co-publishing the first major publication of Just’s work to date. The book will be in three languages (English, German and Dutch), and will feature a foreword by Philippe Van Cauteren and Nicolaus Schafhausen, a preface by Sophie von Olfers, an introduction by Nina Folkersma, texts by Ilsa Colsell and Andrew Renton on different aspects of Just’s practice and a piece by Jacob Lillemose, who followed the production of Just’s new work. The publication will include a large range of images, including shots documenting the recent shoot in Copenhagen and a selection of musical scores by composer and conductor Petri Sirviö, who Just collaborated with for his trilogy It Will All End In Tears (2006).

The exhibition at Witte de With is curated by Sophie von Olfers and Nicolaus Schafhausen.

Exhibition partners

The exhibition will be running simultaneously at Witte de With and the Ursula Blickle Foundation in Kraichtal, Germany
3 March 2007: Opening at Ursula Blickle Foundation
4 March - 15 April 2007

1 April – 30 April 2007: Screening at ursula blickle videolouge at Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria
26 April, 1 pm: Jesper Just in conversation with Nicolaus Schafhausen

20 April 2007: Opening at SMAK, Ghent, Belgium
21 April – 24 June 2007