Hot New World Viewz is a show by Jen Chans (Jennifer Chan), Pappa Modig (Kimmo Modig), Goran Jacotey (Georges Jacotey) and Svea Holloway (Shawné Michaelain Holloway). Its work has been spread lightly. From the almost fictional press release (see between the images) in the run up to the exhibition at Dresden’s S T O R E gallery –where the reader was invited to imagine the four artists travelling through space, separately but dreaming and writing together –to the dedicated website made with, or for, or about, or in parallel to the show. Its work works like this.
Modig sends us several links. The top one is the hotnewworldviewz.com website, so it makes sense to click there first. There are some flames burning in front of a black background and at first encounter it looks like one of those domesticated Tumblr holding pages, which is there to warmly tell you with a flame that you are in the wrong place. Over the top is the phrase: “Live Your Life Creatively, One Step At A Time” and above that is a time-out message counting down from 8:00 minutes.
Scrolling through, there are four pictures that act kind of like image-emblems of places. One from the South, one from the North, one from the East, one from the West. All images included on the page feel like they are trying to say something with the least amount of speaking possible. Inclusion is a gesture in itself and the lightness of work capable by an image feels like a very present thing that is being asked. Text is interspersed throughout in separate light grey paragraphs and much of it deals with the immaterial “growing stormcloud of unwritten social knowledge”. One reads: This is what we know: if someone wants to work with you, they’ll be active. You can smell forced socializing from miles away.
Then there is a red button, which may well have remained inconspicuous on the red background had it not been for Modig’s sweet note to click on the “Proof of Labour” link. A beautiful moment just before the button, which ties together these two parallel parts of Hot New Worldz, is a screen shot of photoshop in which a photo of Chan looking up at something is layered under the words “save for web?”
The button leads to another page tabbed ‘documentation‘ and it glows in red. Or, to be more exact: the two screens, the four beer bottles lined up by the artists with their names typed on their labels, the skinny shelves each topped by a fake candle fallen down behind an unidentifiable object, and the text printed large on the wall are all photographed in S T O R E’s gallery space that is lit with red light.
Also in this part of Hot New World Viewz are a couple of gifs. One is of a looping embrace between two people in the middle of the gallery space, both holding phones as they hug. The other is of a person holding and floating some paper around while reading in the space. The gif makes the reader do a short dance. Sometimes the videos and photos taken around a “work” are tender, full of expression and more meaningful –can you catch art like this instead?
The 8:00 minutes have run out on the other tab and a LinkedIn favicon appears. I click a step back and notice one more sentence: “Sometimes you drink wine on your credit card and ask yourself if art or expression is meaningful anymore…” There is so much here. So much is made public –even the pondering of what it is to make public –and yet it is not heavy with this. The documentation tab, which I soon understand an affection towards because it won’t abandon me into LinkedIn, and is nice and permanent, has at the bottom of the page a scrolling white text that reads: “Forced to Create, Compelled to Coerce…” I keep forgetting the rest and have to look back and write it down. There is room in Hot New World Viewz to keep coming back and to understand the subtle touches between where things are and how things fix, burden or release imagination. There is room to see the red hue and the softness of the gifs. There is room to understand things incorrectly, and for you not to take words as instructional, nor weighty, which feels like the right kind of aftermath to artwork. **
Exhibition photos, top right.