Just for you

Jana Leo

She is alone in bed, in front of the camera, which focuses on her brightly lipsticked mouth. She gestures, sticks her tongue out, pants, and orgasms. Fiction and reality? the intimate play of onanistic sex with the camera as the sole (and manipulatable) witness.

In Just for you, which we can read as a transition piece between two different stages, or as the epilogue of the earlier one, we can discern references both to Retratos, a self-portrait, and to Senxia, the masturbation series. Just for you shows Leo’s own face, with her lips brightly made up, looking straight into the camera. The zoom brings us closer to the lips, it plays with their size until they become the indisputable protagonists of the screen, an image that reminds us of a vagina dentata. In the shot, only the nose and the mouth are shown. The latter gesticulates, sighs, wets the lips with the tongue, pants, groans, gets tense and kisses. The image trembles as the action develops. The suggestion is that the artist is masturbating, but we can’t see anything. We don’t know whether what we are watching is real or whether she’s just acting. Is the orgasm real or fake? After the extasy, Leo films her body standing naked in front of the mirror, an image that suggests that of Narcissus. The camera is the lover who covers the artist’s body going up and down with a panoramic view of it, carefully censoring the pubis with the hanging lens cap.

Somewhere between the rehearsal of a faked orgasm and an act of self-sufficient reaffirmation, this action is performed on the subject herself, with the camera as her passive lover. Leo’s self-exploration is more precise and sophisticated than in other of her previous incursions into her own body. She’s somewhat colder, more discreet and manipulative, more mature. Her daring attitude in front of the camera suggests a form of manifesto for self-identification and for serving and loving oneself above all else. The participants in this game, which can only take place with a person with whom one has an intimate relationship, boil down to just herself, and her observer, her unconditional flatterer.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Just for you
  • Direction: Jana Leo
  • Production: 2002.
  • Duration: 00:03:50
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: PAL
  • License: Copyright