Gitte Villesen
«Two Films by Jessie»

1st February – 30th March 2003


Gitte Villesen, video still Jessie, 2003. Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen

The Danish video artist Gitte Villesen has become famous for her intimate portraits of the people she meets wherever she lives. All of them, may they come from a small Danish town or Chicago have something in common: they believe in their ideals, even if they are not considered realistic on a rational level.

"The Building" (2001) is a video project made by Villesen in 2000, when she was living there as a resident artist. Her work shows the warehouse users. Almost all their activities have a clear ideological side which is combined with a very direct concrete reality. Villesen is interested in how people attempt to realise their ideals, dreams and desires within what is allowed by their concrete economic, cultural, social and gender situations. She addresses issues of normativity and oddity. Is there a "normal" way of living?

Also on show is "Jessie"(2002). Villesen’s latest work portrays Jessie, a 32 year old transsexual. Jessie lives in the danish countryside and her otherness, perceived as odd and abnormal, provokes harsh reactions in her village. Gitte Villesen films Jessie talking about her movie and architectural projects. She thinks it is better to dream than to realise them. But she nevertheless continues to imagine new projects. While most people would think these projects are too unrealistic, Villesen has become fascinated by them. Does a project necessarily have to be realistic? Jessie has ideas for movies. They all would be about the fear of the abnormal in society.

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