MADRID.-From April 15 through June 15 the Casa Encendida of Obral Social Caja Madrid will be presenting two exhibitions curated by Octavio Zaya on the work of two highly regarded, international contemporary artists: Ellen Kooi and Jesper Just. This is the first time that they are the subjects of solo exhibitions in Spain.
The exhibition Todo terminará en lágrimas, the first in Spain devoted exclusively to the work of Jesper Just (born 1974, Copenhagen, Denmark), takes its title from one of the five films by Just selected by Octavio Zaya. Bliss and Heaven, Some draughty Window, Something to love and A vicious Undertow complete the exhibition, which offers a survey of the principal themes in the artists work, namely gender as a social and cultural rather than a biological construct, and the generational issue, in particular the relations between father and son.
Jesper Just has changed the way that many artists of his generation approach the construction of the image. While the use and aesthetic of video are generally of interest to amateur filmmakers or for documentaries, Just surprises us with his finely-crafted productions, filled with references and borrowings from the cinema, evident in the light, the changes of viewpoint and the sensitive camerawork. Justs work introduces us to a world of fiction, of unfinished stories, without beginning or end, always incomplete and evocative.
At the same time, the Casa Encendida will be presenting Dentro por fuera, an exhibition on the work of Ellen Kooi (born 1962, Leeuwarden, Holland). The starting-point for Koois photographs is the Dutch landscape, which she transforms into the setting for ambiguous and inexplicable events. The apparent naturalism of her images, which always have the spontaneity of a snapshot, in fact derives from a complex creative process involving preparatory drawings, models, and design of the lighting and location in a way comparable to film or to the work of the great Baroque painters. This blending of naturalism and artifice gives Ellen Koois photographs a troubling atmosphere and one that exerts an undeniable attraction over the viewers gaze.