Land Lords at monCHÉRI

Alessandro Agudio, Michael Assiff and Bradford Kessler

curated by Domenico de Chirico 

September 11 - October 24, 2015

67 Rue de la Regence 
1000 Brussels

Transmitted through centuries, there is little defense we have against them. They created laughter where there should have been crying; babies born every day laughing. They formed a grim model of hunger, systematically releasing us into the animal world one by one only to alienate us from our furry friends by programming a deep collective desire to worship vegetables and insects. This standard has led to global unrest and infinite struggles for power as there are too many unfree species to find common ground. They constitute the vast obscurity of night. If you have seen them in the daylight, then you know they almost look like glass.

Nestled comfortably into the role of antagonist, they have militarized and educated us with the teachings of their minority opposition. With promises of social mobility they allow us to easily swap nationalities and to be 
absorbed by the spirit of life at an early age. They ask us to consider the Earth as a living organism and ourselves as parasitical entities only to secretly demand a throughly documented record of “e(a)rth” as one big, fat, curvy lover. Rock engraved slogans on their properties are often meant to make those on the outside feel better about their situation but simultaneously confused. One loosely translated to “Possession does not mean wealth. True wealth is catastrophic”. As the years went on the propaganda became more and more abnormal. A vinyl banner on the exterior of our school for example, advertised a spring break package deal which said “Lower your slick proboscis into still territory and drink”. A vintage graphic next to the slogan of a mosquito sitting on top of a blue pregnant corpse piercing it’s half deflated belly. Dirt crusted and tathered by the wind, an advertisement on the fence outside of the school for an insurance company targeting new graduates read: “Witness your body turned to feces before your very eyes as your predator slowly consumes you”. The text joined by a hyper real composite of an old man laughing hysterically and holding his empty pockets stretched out in both hands. 

All we remember from our education is reading stacks of textbooks on shelves with nothing but abstract biological diagrams and slogans. We went through the training program and acquired real estate licenses with some petty technical skills which were immediately forgotten upon exiting the building. We were then sent to work in a factory but we are not sure what our colleagues and us were manufacturing exactly. Perhaps plastic parts for the medical industry perhaps small parts for weaponry? All the workers we didn’t know had the same names as our family members. Eventually we caught on that they were informers unsuccessfully attempting to gain our trust. We showed up to work on time which was all that was really acquired to hold the position. The only other requirements were a moderate amount of intelligence for pushing buttons and pulling levers at the right time, and most of all, simple Obedience (which was brightly stenciled on the wall just above: “We are far far far from PEACE”).

Undiscovered, uneven, unconstructed, undersaturated, unfulfilled newness aka ‘necromancy without catharsis’ led us to generate prolonged hesitation. Slowing down the process of the factory to contemplate signs and symbols only to conclude that it was about the lack of sexual pleasure in our lives. The Land Lords became resentful. They knew we knew the products we 
produced were for their architectural plans. The job came with a private beach for each employee. This was one of the main perks advertised for the position however we often found our rationed dinners spilled all over the sand and our barracks ransacked in retaliation. Countless times we were forced to lap of every bit of sandy food we could before our two hour window of sleep. Nickel and dimed at every turn we develop paranoid metaphors derived from a deep fear of deja vu. Little did we know this was quickly leading into a future with meaningless languages. 

Back to basics, the Land Lords fired us one by one using what resembled a bird call and we stared at them blankly. We thought the promises of social mobility meant we would only move upward but down the ranks to the bottom we went, our skin shoved into metal drawers, eye balls placed in jars and hair carefully slid into plastic bags. We slowly witnessed our new faces become emblems on signs with the new language written in red and what could only be universally understood as a symbol for death. One day I see another banner inside the train which reads: You can only truly own what you cannot lose, and you will one day lose your body. I started to understand that everything even my body is rented.

images courtesy the artists and monCHÉRI