Jesper Just (b. 1974, Copenhagen) is one of his generation’s most noteworthy artists to hail from Denmark, having consistently explored video as his medium. Feature films, and the unique tools offered by filmmaking to tell strong stories through light and imagery, serve as great sources of inspiration in Just’s work. Drawn to places that possess a particular attraction, Just then allows them to take centre stage – the intricate highway system outside Los Angeles, the utopian commune out in the Californian desert, Detroit’s abandoned city centre.
Intercourses (2013) is Jesper Just’s most complex video installation, and serves as the focal point of City Walks. Five projections display three African men travelling throughout a city resembling Paris. Store signage written in Chinese and skyscrapers towering above the whitewashed facades reveal that the installation is filmed in China, not Europe. Jesper Just came up with the idea to film in the Tianducheng district, located in the coastal city of Hangzhou, as he was preparing to represent Denmark at the Venice Art Biennale. The exhibition area houses national pavilions, a place where countries from across the globe display their nation’s leading art. The pavilions create nations within a nation, which Just associated with all the city copies popping up all over the world. China is the country leading in this trend, having extensively created copies of primarily European cities within its cities. Intercourses proposes questions of how today’s cities grow at an incredibly rapid rate, and how this trend incites increasing migration and urbanization.