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Arts & Culture

Hot Desque

An Almanac (2024), Hot Desque

An Almanac (2024), Hot Desque

Founded in 2018, Hot Desque is a partnership between artists Lizzy Drury and Neena Percy. Hot Desque’s work spans site-specific installations, set and prop design, film, writing, publications and workshops. The artist duo creates site-specific mise-en-scène installations inspired by, among other things, sci-fi world-building and deep ecology. These Gesammtkunstwerke explore the organisation of knowledge (about science, nature, the past) and break the hierarchical categories of things The pieces included in Pasts to Come formed part of ‘Holding Cosmic Dust’, a wider installation and set design evoking the behind-the-scenes storage facility of a fictional archaeological dig. Gloves, labels, bespoke armatures were arranged alongside graphite drawing studies of the found objects while they were on show at the Corinium Museum.

For ‘Holding Cosmic Dust’ Hot Desque staged the modern artworks (by artists Holly Graham, Rubie Green, Rebeca Romero, Amba Sayal-Bennett, Abel Shah and Suzanne Treister) as artefacts from an imagined past (or potential future), described as ‘matriarchal, cosmocentric, geomantic.’ The exhibition questioned how knowledge about the past is made and verified, and the role fantasy plays in these processes. But instead of suggesting categorical narratives, it emphasized connections between multiple timescales at once and the role of the human hand in shaping stories. The steel case featured in Pasts to Come outlines a vessel used in ritual ceremonies, its title inferring the psychoactive medical plants used in South America. The vessel, Encasing I, is part of Rebecca Romero’s Conjuring Eden, a series of vessels based on 3D renderings of pre-Colombian artefacts augmented by the artists. As an object that is in equal measure modern art and ancient reconstruction, Insignis SS makes visible what we otherwise might not notice in the museum, that many ancient artefacts are also shaped by modern interventions.


An essay about the exhibition by Dr. Frederika Tevebring can be accessed here.  

2024_05_10_An Almanac (2024), film still, video by Hot Desque. Artwork, Insignis SS, by Rebeca Romero

An Almanac (2024), film still, video by Hot Desque. Artwork, Insignis SS, by Rebeca Romero

Project status: Completed