When the remnant exists as the whole, scavenging as a way of life becomes the new normal.
The question is not "when will the breaking point occur?" but "when will a more total apathy set in?" Survival has been replaced by "convenience at all costs", our mantra, as we hashtag our way to Black Friday and Cyber Monday savings, never stopping to ask why things are so discounted because our hands are too full. For those of us unable to attend the big box orgy, we can choose from over 30 livestreams of them on World Star Hip Hop.
When the general public knows that the verdict of a secret grand jury will be "not guilty" in advance of its announcement, you are flashed with the present apocalypse.
Looking into the fragment of a mirror is the last remaining way to see our reflection.
- Jesse Hlebo
Edel Assanti is pleased to present "In Pieces", the inaugural exhibition at 74a Newman Street, by New York artist Jesse Hlebo. Hlebo explores
manifold incidences of crisis in a globalised society: insurrection, economic collapse, the Anthropocene and authoritarian control. With urgency befitting of the subject matter, Hlebo interrogates the media's role in crisis creation and propagation, whilst highlighting possible trajectories from our present course.
"In Pieces" questions how authenticity can be established in the age of social media, when upon upload, content is instantaneously dislocated from its original context. Hlebo's videos compile found amateur footage in inferred narrative streams. Despite the material being drawn from disparate sources, depicting unrelated situations, the culmination of the sequences are as present as they are apocalyptic.
The videos are housed within a site-specific installation of components derived from post-insurrectional architecture, where once more authenticity is challenged. The gallery walls are cladded with charred and scorched wood and plasterboard panels, whilst Hlebo leaves the cause of this damage ambiguous, muddying the distinction between the real and the simulated.
Jesse Hlebo has exhibited, performed, and curated numerous solo and group shows internationally. Venues include the MoMA Library, MoMA PS1, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Clocktower Gallery, Museum of Arts and Design, Printed Matter, Inc, and Storefront for Art and Architecture in NYC, The Luminary in St. Louis, Family in Los Angeles, the Khyber Center for Contemporary Art and NSCAD in Halifax, Nova Scotia, amongst others.