States of Independence
Dazed's ultimate guide to US creativity

Jesse Hlebo's art says fuck the police

The New York artist and constant collaborator is selected by UNO to share two works inspired by police brutality, loud music shows and criminological theory

2soon-1 Jesse Hlebo
being now 2 soon or nothing, whatever Jesse Hlebo

As part of our new summer US project States of Independence we've invited our favourite 30 American curators, magazines, creatives and institutions to takeover Dazed for a day. 

Uno – the convention-blasting, genre-straddling, Brooklyn-based electronic dance music label – are taking over Dazed for the day. They welcome us to their world with a curated selection of their favourite artists of the moment, including exclusive treats from Mykki Blanco, Gobby and Ian Isiah.

For the hyper-faceted Jesse Hlebo, music reflects art reflects life. An artist, photographer, curator, graphic designer and publishing house/record label founder (at Swill Children), the man is basically superhuman. A close collaborator of UNO who has exhibited at MoMA PS1 and the Luminary in St. Louis, Hlebo’s NY base provides the locus for all his creative endeavours. Though heavily embedded in the biggest thing that has ever happened to any of us – the Internet – his pursuits are predominantly inspired by everyday crises and trauma IRL. His own encounters with police brutality and enforced methods of societal control have featured almost consistently in his work; a focus which, given the recent deaths of African-Americans such as Eric Garner and Trayvon Martin at the hands of police brutality, makes his art ever more urgent for now. Hlebo shared a new piece and clip with us, below. 

BEING NOW 2 SOON OR NOTHING, WHATEVER

"The text is derived from notes in my phone that I save when I'm at loud music shows and am trying to communicate with people and can't hear them. The photos are from a fuck the police protest in Brooklyn last year in response to the murder of Kimani Gray in Flatbush. The other photo is of the church across the street from my studio that is covered in scaffolding and being turned into condos."

2soon-1 Jesse Hlebo
being now 2 soon or nothing, whatever Jesse Hlebo

FOR BRATTON

"[quoting Wikipedia] The broken windows theory is a crimonological theory of the norm-setting and signalling effect of urban disorder and vandalism on additional crime and anti-social behaviour. The theory states that maintaining and monitoring urban environments in a well-ordered condition may stop further vandalism and escalation into more serious crime."

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