The film is set in a suburb of the city of Hangzhou in China, which is built as a full scale architectural copy of parts of the French capital of Paris. In contrast to the many other recreations of cities around the world, people actually live in this area. Here, Chinese signs and lettuce fields clash with a reproduction of the Haussmann boulevards and a smaller version of the iconic Eiffel Tower.
In his work on Intercourses, Jesper Just has thus taken his inspiration from the principal aim of the Venice Biennale, which was to represent his country in another country. The replica city, the artificial pastiche of a city, is the essential artistic feature in this total installation, which via poetic and sensuous images thematises highly relevant subjects such as a sense of cultural belonging, globalization and alienation.
Just explains, “I’ve worked in the past with the idea of architecture performing, with a building or structure as a main performer, a main protagonist. And here there was the possibility of working with a whole city. I was thinking about ways to make the city the protagonist or mediator between these characters, making them connect via the architecture. I wanted to explore how you could take something as superficial as this architecture and then turn it into something connecting humans.”
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