Hot Desque presents “Holding Cosmic Dust” at the Corinium Museum

Hot Desque, an artistic duo comprised of Lizzy Drury and Neena Percy, is holding an exhibition intervention titled “Holding Cosmic Dust” at the Corinium Museum in Cirencester, UK. The exhibition, which will run from January 20th to March 19th, 2024, showcases contemporary artworks by women and female-identifying artists amongst the permanent collection of locally found archaeological artefacts. It aims to draw out connections between archaeology, history, and fantasy.

The exhibition features works by six artists including Holly Graham, Rubie Green, Rebeca Romero, Amba Sayal-Bennett, Abel Shah, and Suzanne Treister. These artworks, scattered throughout the museum, act as remnants of a speculative, matriarchal society that once inhabited the same area at an unspecified time. Each piece carries its own story, adding to the overall narrative and evoking a sense of mystery surrounding the culture, traditions, and beliefs of this society. Accompanying the artworks is a video almanac that further explores the potential meaning of the objects through digital reconstruction. Together, these elements suggest the potential values of a cosmo-centric civilization that is attuned to their surroundings and occupied with ritual, art-making, and a curiosity for the universe.

Hot Desque’s worldbuilding practice challenges the linear understanding of past, present, and future. By juxtaposing contemporary artworks with archaeological artefacts, the exhibition confronts historical biases in scientific inquiries and suggests the possibility of matriarchal societies in both the past and the future. It also questions how knowledge is made or verified and the role fantasy plays in these processes. Rather than imposing a singular narrative, the exhibition emphasizes connections between multiple timescales and the role of human imagination in shaping stories. It also highlights humanity’s impact on the planet and the need for a deeper understanding of our relationship with the past and future.

In addition to the exhibition at the Corinium Museum, Hot Desque will also be hosting satellite events at the Swiss Church in London. These events include the “Holding Cosmic Dust: An Almanac” video installation, which will be open to the public on January 26th, and a conversation with historian Frederika Tevebring on January 27th.

For those interested in visiting the exhibition, the Corinium Museum is located at Park Street, Cirencester GL7 2BX. It is open Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and on Sundays from 2 pm to 4 pm. Admission to “Holding Cosmic Dust” is included in the ticket price.

Hot Desque’s exhibition is made possible with support from The Corinium Museum, Arts Council England, The Swiss Church, Hypha Studios, and Woodlands UK. The project is also delivered in collaboration with Peckham Levels, Step Out Mentors, Lab Gloucestershire Library, and Cirencester Bingham Library.

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Hot Desque is an artistic practice founded in 2018 by Lizzy Drury and Neena Percy. Their work spans site-specific installation, film, drawing, and writing, exploring the potential to re-enchant objects and matter through collaborations with other artists. They have staged exhibitions and interventions internationally and in the UK, and are current awardees of Hypha Studios Longterm Resident Artists 2022-2024.

Holly Graham is a London-based artist whose work looks at ways in which memory and narrative shape collective histories. She has exhibited internationally and is an Associate Lecturer at the Royal College of Art.

Rubie Green is a songstress, producer, and multi-instrumentalist from South London. Her recent EP “Whatever Cage” was released in October 2023.

Rebeca Romero is a multidisciplinary artist born in Peru and currently based in London. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is featured in the book ‘Latin American Artists: From 1785 to Now’ (2023) by Phaidon.

Amba Sayal-Bennet is a contemporary artist whose sculptures adopt hard-edge shapes and explore the relationship between authorship, representation, and power. She has exhibited internationally and is currently completing her PhD in Art Practice and Learning at Goldsmiths.

Abel Shah is an artistic duo comprised of Alex Bell and Giulia Shah, both based in London. They often collaborate with other artists to create multi-media installations and explore alternative ways of communicating and translating ideas.

Suzanne Treister is a British contemporary artist who became a pioneer in the digital/new media/web-based field in the 1990s. Her work explores the relationship between new technologies, society, alternative belief systems, and the potential futures of humanity.

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