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‘Third World: The Bottom Dimension’ is a journey into a fantastical and thought-provoking world, built by a vital generation of Brazilian artists. It is part of an ongoing and multi-dimensional project of the same name by Gabriel Massan and collaborators, which includes web3 tokens built on Tezos and a video game that explores Black Brazilian experience as it intersects with the impacts of colonialism.

Gabriel Massan, Third World: The Bottom Dimension, 2023 [Video Game]. Featuring Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro, Novíssimo Edgar & LYZZA. Image courtesy Gabriel Massan.

Designed as a responsive ecosystem, this interdisciplinary exhibition extends the ideas behind the video game, offering all visitors an opportunity to play it and step inside the world of its concepts, emotions and mechanics, while seated in Massan’s sculptural playstations. The exhibition is also a space to encounter the broader practices of a network of artists and thinkers – including Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro, Novíssimo Edgar, LYZZA, Jota Mombaça and Ventura Profana – with contributed works combining installation, textile, sound and poetry. These expand our capacity to imagine otherwise, embracing ancestral knowledge, ecological awareness, and an openness to transmutation and reverberation. 

Inviting visitors to navigate through the lenses of decoloniality, queerness and decentralisation – technological, social, economic, and ideological – ‘Third World‘ is an experience that challenges us to rethink the ways in which we understand and orient ourselves in the world. As Massan says, “I want to create the experience of walking through possibilities and memories of life and narrative.”  

Taking cues from work developed for the game,  Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro  exercises a space of freedom with a text work and earth installation.  Novíssimo Edgar  explores the construction of social fabric through character play, textile work and ceramics that reflects their in-game level design.  LYZZA  creates an immersive surround sound environment influenced by real-time gameplay that invites us to consider symbiosis and adaptive behaviour.  Jota Mombaça‘s text-based wall intervention announces an architectural breach within the gallery space and offers an eye to possibility.  Ventura Profana  brings a digital collage and sculptural installation that lays the foundations for new infrastructures.

The project ‘Third World: The Bottom Dimension‘ emerges from Massan’s interest in technological, social and economic decentralisation, and includes participatory digital tokens built on the Tezos blockchain. Players can record ‘memories’ of their own actions as they play the game, and by minting this record (or snapshot) on the blockchain, build a public archive of multiple perspectives and actions. In addition, a collection of limited editions will bring together Massan, their collaborators and a wider community of web3 artists.

The exhibition will be on view from the 23rd of June, until the 22nd of October, 2023. For more information, please visit the Serpentine Galleries.

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