Jake Kent and Claude Eigan at gr_und / Berlin

Claude Eigan & Jake Kent / CJ’s Place

17.09.22 to 15.10.22


Seestrasse 49, 13347 Berlin

All pictures copyright James Verhille @vonverhillephotoarchive


As squatters we would take over a house that had been empty a year or many. We’d break the door open and a gust of dust would wheeze out along with the dead dream of somebody’s investment, motes and figures accumulating in the unmade silence while the speculators waited for the market to crash or to cash in their flats. But nothing is worth a shit if all it’s worth is money, and the empty houses all knew it too, sad city drool in the rainpipes and the door maws scowling shut.

When we took over the house we would pull all our chairs in there. Maybe a mattress or a horseshoe for luck, some flowers someone found outside a restaurant. You and me drinking our beers in there and looking out the windows on to the new street. Everyone living on stale loaves and chickpeas until one day someone cooks up a pot of stew and after that we take it in turns. The old dust gets bright and wet with the smell of cooking and people start bringing their lovers back and we’re calling it home. And slowly, the house stops its long sulk and we all start to go about living/ there.


It always felt fucked up when we had to go. As a matter of principle we resisted the charge, mainly because it didn’t feel true; what is a rightful tenant after all but someone who does the daily work of living somewhere? But every time we’d lose or nearly. All those chairs out on the street looking like what happens when you don’t do what you’re told, and the property cops strong-arming their way through the spaces we called bedrooms and tearing out the furnish like it’s personal.


And then we’d move along, and we’d start again. They always get the house but we have, we have, we have our



I didn’t know another way to do it. Didn’t know which cupboard I should use or if I’d fit inside it otherwise. So I made a new thing from an old thing and it changes all the time but it always goes a little bit like this:


We move into an empty house. This time we pay the money and we sign down and gather. Buy-to-lets are like neglected animals, silent & skittish: you walk around the cold open rooms made up all nice but you know it’s still just a sell until you find a chair out on the street and pull it inside. People bring their lovers home and start cooking dinner there. You and me drinking our beers in there and we’re cooking dinner for lovers and friends and the guests from elsewhere or just for one another and inevitably it starts that we go/ about/ living/


until the market crash means cash for flats, and all our chairs sitting out on the street. But the lovers and friends and the guests from elsewhere/ are what we have left /inn/it because


They always get the house. But we have, we have, we have our –



Text by Jesse Darling