Jesper Just touched on society’s obsession with youth and beauty in Servitudes, featuring actress Dree Hemingway, which was shown on Times Square’s electronic billboards from 11:57 pm to midnight each night in November, 2015. This project was a part of Midnight Moment, a monthly presentation by The Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts. November 2015's Midnight Moment was presented in partnership with Performa15, the world’s largest performance art Biennial.
Servitudes explored the tension between femininity and autonomy in our capitalist society. A young girl (Hemingway) sits alone in an office eating corn. Her hands are secured by Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) devices which both aid and hinder her ability to eat. As a symbolic nod to the disparity between identity and commodity, the individual and social constructs, the woman in the film’s interaction with the audience waivered between flirtation and apathy.
“Servitudes is not an individual but a construct, the embodiment of a social mechanism. She cannot criticize a system whose existence inherently begets her existence. This tension is expressed in her actions--as she eats the corn, her hands are restrained. Even the corn itself relates back to the political system--a world of GMOS and capital gain. She too is modified, manipulated, a pawn in a power play that is both hidden and transparent.” - Jesper Just
Courtesy of the artist, Galerie Perrotin, James Cohan, and Anna Lena Films.