The Clocktower Gallery presents the performance Habit Towards Obedience by Jesse Hlebo. In his performance, Hlebo takes the United States' prison system as its starting point. He is accompanied by John Colpitts (Kid Millions, of Onedia, Man Forever, Boredoms) on drums, Caroline Busta and Fay Victor.
Habit Towards Obedience consists of three movements based on the U.S. prison system.
The first movement is an extraction of rhythms from prison spirituals and gospel songs played by Kid Millions on a single snare.
The second movement consists of a text created by Caroline Busta and Jesse Hlebo. The text is an amalgamation of writings and quotes related to the U.S. prison system, re-structured into a liturgical format.
The attendee's are led in the reading of the text by Jesse Hlebo.
The third and final movement is Billy Taylor's song "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free" sung and repeated three time's by Fay Victor. Each subsequent repetion decreases in tempo.
Upon entering the Clocktower Gallery's building at 108 Leonard St, itself a center of criminal court's, attendees are required to pass through a security check point. Proceeding to the twelfth floor, and then onto the thirteenth via a fire exit stairwell, attendees are subjected to further check points instituted by Hlebo.
In order to enter the gallery in which the piece occurres, attendees are required to take off their shoes and place their cell phone's inside, refrain from photography, and are not allowed to sit inside of the space during the duration of the piece.
Six orange prison jumpsuits, aquired from Bob Barker Company, Inc., are hung in front of the windows. Hlebo masqueraded as a correctional facility in order to aquire the jumpsuits.
PDF of the second movement can be downloaded here
Jesse Hlebo is an artist residing in Brooklyn, NY. His work explores the ways in which independent acts are disseminated via mass media. The work is resistant to ‘facts’ and ‘objective truths’ and so often violates its own meaning. Each project is vulnerable. It could easily self-destruct.
Jesse has curated and exhibited in numerous solo and group shows internationally. Most notably, he has curated projects and performances at the MoMA Library, MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC, the Khyber Center for Contemporary Art and NSCAD in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in NYC, among others.
Jesse is the co-founder and editor of _ Quarterly, a publication based on obsolescence, and is the founder of Swill Children, a small press and record label focusing on the space of integration between limited physical objects and the internet. His most recent project, Paperweight, is a collectively operated site devoted to facilitating a critical dialogue on, and providing resources for, independent publishing. He holds a position on P-MAG (the Printed Matter Advisory Group).
This program is made possible with the generous support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.