Jesper Just

[2008/12/08 18:32 | 分类: Articles | by lizhenhua ]
Jesper Just
翰墨美术馆,美国洛杉矶 Hammer Museum, LA
作者 By Hannah Barry © 2006


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迄今为止Jesper Just已经完成的约十余部短片都很出色,这些影片拒绝盲从纪录片潮流和近年来影像艺术所青睐的粗劣美学。Just对自身的定位既是导演又是编剧, Jesper Just创作的叙事影片都具有不确定的结局。去除了长篇旁白和环境声,他的影片是为剧团演员创作的:由一个独立的(通常是男性)主角与辅助的(也是男性)合唱团组成。
The dozen or so short films that Jesper Just has made to date are outstanding for their refusal to adhere to the documentary tendencies and low-fi aesthetic character favored in recent video art. Positing himself as both director and editor. Just composes narrative films with obscure denouements. Stripped of prolonged spoken dialogue or ambient sound, his films are composed for a repertory cast: a single (usually male) lead character with a small supporting (also male) chorus.

Jesper Just 为每部影片都集合了大制作,雇用经过训练的演员和歌手、录音和照明工程师、摄影师。他将这些因素灵活地组合起来,产生了一种豪华的电影式短片。他使用了奢华的“电影”更普遍采用的影院制作机制:精心设计出明暗对照的光线组合所产生的电影错视画面;严格控制视角的变化和场面宏伟的活动画面中演员走位的安排;正如一个微图画家般的超敏性,将人类情感赋予电影,通过他对摄影的准确把握,捕捉悲伤、忧郁和哀痛,长时间的沉默和平静的细微差异。
For each film Just assembles a grand production, engaging trained actors and singers, sound and lighting engineers, and camera operators. His dexterous choreography of these elements results in a sumptuous filmic object. He employs mechanisms more commonly associated with lavish "motion picture" productions for cinema: notably his trompe l'oeil cinematographic vision, manifested in elaborate chiaroscuro combinations of light and half-light; tight control of changes in perspective and arrangement of the cast in majestic tableaux vivants; and a miniaturist's hypersensitivity in committing human emotions to film, his precise handling of the camera capturing the subtleties of sadness, melancholy, and grief as well as of prolonged expressionlessness and impassivity.

Just's assured combination of visual poise and intelligible yet ambiguous plot lines has led him to be associated stylistically with such giants of modern film as Luchino Visconti and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and with celebrated younger film directors who have developed a unique visual style, namely, Gus Van Sant, David Lynch, and Pedro Almodóvar. In addition to finding parallels within cinema, Just's work is also comparable to that of other contemporary artists working in film. In their extraordinary formal qualities, his productions are aligned with those of seminal American filmmaker Matthew Barney, London-based director Chris Cunningham, and young Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli.

What sets Just apart from these artists is not the mobilization of high-end cinematic production at the service of the work of art. Rather, his formal mastery and easy narrative coherence are used to lull the viewer into a false sense of cinematic security. Subsequently he works against any such assumptions, manipulating accepted cinematic tendencies and demonstrating that slick styling and all-too-legible characters are a thin veneer for works of art whose heartland is a troubling and intensely human appraisal of masculinity.

Just's focus is notably limited to the formally narrow framing of man-to-man, or man-to-men, exchanges. In his films from 2004, the absence of a female presence on screen calls into question the status of his male characters, obscuring their relationships to, or with, their accompanying actors. Conceptually this insistence on male-exclusive interrelations catalyzes Just's reappraisal of common notions of masculinity as a stereotypical gender role characterized by physical virility, (usually hetero-) sexual aggressiveness, emotional stoicism, intellectual pragmatism, and dominant egocentricity. Under his careful direction this gender definition is problematized, and as the narrative of each film progresses, he orchestrates its destabilizing and eventual collapse.

In pursuit of this point of collapse, Just courts male stereotypes—frequently those cultivated by mainstream cinema—as a deceptive form of dramatic shorthand. Dressing his protagonists in stereotypical fashion and setting them in specific social spaces establishes a series of highly finished male "templates." The costumes create a visually coherent stereotype with which the audience is naturally inclined to align a set of associative behaviors.

这种手法在最近的两部作品中都可见一斑:《爱情物语》(2005年)中演员Johannes Lilleore扮演一个狡猾的城市公交乘客,穿着奶白色雨衣和长裤,留着滑溜溜的发型——在《喜乐与天堂》(2004年)中,他则扮演一个魁梧的青年,穿着脏牛仔裤和松垮的白色背心,头发蓬乱,出现在阳光照射下的玉米地。观众所期望的刻板行为却完全没有出现。比如,在《爱情物语》中,这个面无表情的后排乘客下了汽车,在附近的一个电梯里,与一个美丽的女孩极为纯洁地彼此亲吻。后来由于爱上了一位老年男司机,他抛弃了那个女孩(相对于亲吻来说是沉默而悲伤的证明),最后他和司机一起驱车离开。在《喜乐与天堂》中,这个帅小伙奔跑着穿越田园诗般的乡村并到达了停车场,他坐进一辆停在那里的大型卡车后座。卡车里有一个洛可可影院,卡车的男司机——穿着脏T恤,戴着金色长假发、雪纺围巾——在舞台上表演歌舞,在闪光灯下用男低音歌唱,促使观众疯狂地回忆起那孤单的青年时光。在这两个例子中,男主角的行为都与服装所暗示的刻板行为相违背。这削弱了行为不可能论所定义的男子气概的视觉一致性。
This device is exemplified by two recent works: Something To Love (2005)—in which actor Johannes Lilleore appears as the sly passenger of a smart city car, sporting a cream raincoat, slacks, and slickly styled hair—and Bliss & Heaven (2004), in which he appears as a strapping youth amid sunlit cornfields, wearing dirty jeans and a loose white vest, his hair unkempt. Any expectations of stereotypical conduct are by no means fulfilled. For example, the inexpressive rear passenger in Something To Love exits his car and locks into a peculiarly chaste kiss with a beautiful girl in a nearby elevator before abandoning her in favor of his older male driver (a silent, teary witness to the kiss), with whom he drives away. In Bliss & Heaven, a run through idyllic countryside brings the handsome youth to a car park, where he enters the back of a vast stationary truck. The truck houses a rococo theater where the male driver of the truck—in a grimy T-shirt, long blond wig, and chiffon scarf—performs cabaret-style on stage, in basso profundo and with full strobe lighting, eliciting a rapturous response from the solitary youth in the audience. In both instances the protagonist's conduct works in opposition to the type proposed by his costume. This promotes a less congruent vision of masculinity characterized by behavioral improbability.

Lending support to this alternative vision, Just also problematizes the sets where his films are staged. The familiar associations aligned with the strip joint or gentleman's club are broken down by the incongruous performances of his actors within these spaces. Song is often the main form of dialogue between the young lead and his older supporting cast. Just's chorus is a composite of the doo-wop style of the Hollywood revue and the grander harmonic gestures of classic oratorio: in The Lonely Villa (2004), a semi-somnambulant male entourage is roused to sing the Ink Spots' smash hit "I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire" into telephone receivers placed on side tables around a plush reception room. Similarly, in No Man is an Island II (2004), a roomful of old men in a dim drinking hole execute en masse a rendition of Roy Orbison’s falsetto ballad of lost love, "Crying." Just's use of the chorus in a discreet gentleman's club or wine bar is a surprising intervention. In such explicitly traditional, male-dominated spaces, it serves as an additional device operating in a way that is antithetical to the standard male modus operandi.

虽然Just的电影空间充满了坐着的老人,他们很少影响场景的主要行动,但他们的歌声表明,他们仍然与场景的情感密切相关。松散地与古典希腊戏剧的合唱团相关联,他们加强了男主角的悲剧性vox humana,在歌曲中反映男主角艰难的男性斗争——无论是欲望、拒绝、悲伤,或是最终丧失和孤立。
Although Just's rooms full of seated old men seldom intervene in the scene's central action, their singing demonstrates that they still engage deeply in the emotions of the scene. Loosely associated with the chorus of classical Greek theater, they reinforce the tragic vox humana of the lead actor, reflecting his difficult male struggles—whether with desire, rejection, grief, or ultimately loss and isolation—in song.

Johannes Lilleore在Just的作品中总是出演男主角。如果我们仔细研究这个演员在整体作品中的功能,他可以被看作是一个精心构思的密码,用于表征Just对男子气概的观念:在每部影片中他都以一个男人的一切应该有的模样出场,历经一连串的事物而逐渐破坏这种先入之见,然后在原地迎来这个角色的幽灵,这个幽灵代表男子气概更缺乏可能性的方面,从而驳斥其传统的社会学定义。
Johannes Lilleore is regularly cast in the lead male role in Just's productions. If one examines the actor's function in the works as a group, he can be seen as operating as an elaborately conceived cipher for Just's vision of masculinity: in each film he begins as everything a man should be, traveling through a sequence to collapse this preconception and welcome in its place the character's specter, who represents the more unlikely aspects of masculinity, refuting traditional sociological definitions.

有人说,艺术史和艺术生产不能脱离社会历史和社会生产。自70年代以来,视频和电影艺术得益于其固有的本质属性和根本的心理特征,借助商业电视的支配地位占据了一定程度的霸权。最近被广泛认同的观点是,媒介能成为文化和社会重要的讨论焦点。如今,人们已经在激烈地争论着性别的定义和内涵。拥有强大的电影技术、一系列精巧的形式手段、以及讲故事的天赋,Jesper Just已经运用他的艺术手段来阐明这些问题,组合并建造、分解并破坏当代世界中许多令人费解的对男子气概和男性相互关系的先入之见。
It has been said that art history and art production cannot be separated from social history and social production. Since the 1970s, video and film art has benefited from its inherently radical and essentially psychological character, informed to a not insignificant extent by the hegemony of commercial television. More recently it has been widely recognized that the medium can operate as a focus of significant cultural and social discussion. Today, gender, its definition and meanings, is fiercely debated. Armed with formidable cinematographic skill, a battery of clever formal devices, and a flair for storytelling, Jesper Just has used his art to address these issues, assembling and constructing, dismembering and dismantling the many and perplexing preconceptions of masculinity and intermale relations in the contemporary world.

Hannah Barry在英国剑桥大学学习艺术史。她目前在英国伦敦居住和工作。
Hannah Barry studied art history at the University of Cambridge, England. She currently lives and works in London.
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2008/12/09 11:06
Jesper Just's work (March 3 - April 29, 2007)
2008/12/09 11:02
Jesper Just 1974年出生并生活在哥本哈根。2003年他毕业于哥本哈根的丹麦皇家艺术学院。他的作品曾经在丹麦海宁的Herning Kunst博物馆、美国纽约的佩里.鲁宾斯坦画廊,以及歌本哈根的Christina Wilson画廊举办个人展览。他的视频作品也被收录在美国纽约的05年双年展、伦敦皇家艺术学院的群展,以及瑞典的印第安纳波利斯当代艺术博物馆、马尔莫美术馆的展览中。他的作品得到了很多出版物的评论,包括Artforum, Frieze, and Tema Celeste。

Jesper Just was born in 1974 and lives in Copenhagen. He received his degree in 2003 from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen. Solo exhibitions of his work have been presented at the Herning Kunstmuseum, Herning, Denmark; Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York; and Galleri Christina Wilson, Copenhagen. His videos were also featured in the Performa 05 Biennial, New York, and group exhibitions at the Royal College of Art in London, the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Malmö Konsthall in Sweden. His work has been reviewed in various publications, including Artforum, Frieze, and Tema Celeste.
2008/12/09 10:40
Video:Jesper Just\'s The Man Who Strayed, 2002.
2008/12/09 10:35
YouTube - Jesper Just - No Man Is an Island II (2004)
2008/12/09 10:30
Jesper Just's website
2008/12/09 10:30
Art Review | Jesper Just: Cinematic Images of Masculine Vulnerability
2008/12/09 10:16
Jesper Just新电影在布鲁克林博物馆举办展览
2008/12/09 10:15
Fall Preview: Jesper Just's Schizo Enigma
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