Jesper Just

With Sierra Armstrong, Jin Zhang, Skylar Brandt, Courtney Lavine, Connor Holloway, Alban Lendorf, Joon Won Ahn. Cinematography by Kasper Tuxen.

For this new multi-channel work, Just collaborated with a set of dancers from American Ballet Theater. The camera’s intimate gaze focuses on close-ups and parts of bodies — the blink of an eye, a flexed pelvic muscle, hairs standing on end atop a dancer’s forearm. Their supple and muscled bodies, even in passivity, indicate power. Yet they are fractured and disjointed, displayed across a series of five fragmented LED panels.

Lying in repose, there are small patches affixed to their musculature, which cause mild and intermittent muscle contractions. Oftentimes used by dancers for physical therapy and strength training, each patch is connected to wires that cascade down the dancer’s bodies and across the floor. As their muscles continue to contract, the notes of Fauré’s Op. 50, a masterpiece in the Romantic style, sound throughout the gallery. It is difficult to discern whether the dancers’ movements are dictating the score, or if it is the other way around. Like parts of a self-contained machine, they are simultaneously autonomous and passive.