Broomberg & Chanarin: Facies Doloroso Ad Infinitum

 ” We built these monuments to ourselves and in doing so loosened the last remaining golden drops of wax from the harness that carried our weight over the azure Icarian Sea”

These are the new ruins of a future history disposed to lapse under the watchful milky blue eye of an omniscient, but invisible Cesar. We have built cities with a strong and barking decry gifted to ruin. The ruin as inevitable monument to the calculable heroism of civilizations past built for the future with a value disposed towards the cultural progress of decay. This is the theory of ruin value.

Our emblematic fragments within this decay should not be stretched across only cities, but also pale cheekbones, presently clamoring without that meek heritage suggesting a much-needed severance from their varied and opaline necks. We’re all so busy at the guillotines these days. The resounding and forced CLACK! as the blade runs along its well-oiled track hurtling towards those same necklines, whose bodies had stretched themselves around edifices eagerly anticipating their turn to tumble down stone stairs without their body’s weight. To see, to see the hand of god wrench itself back from their foreheads like a withered willow tree dry and short of water. The fragment as face. The face as a tumbleweed in a whirlwind of indigestible and recorded expletives. We built these monuments to ourselves and in doing so loosened the last remaining golden drops of wax from the harness that carried our weight over the azure Icarian Sea.

 

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@ Broomberg & Chanarin

 

When you are young, architecture is a place in which you hide. When you are grown, it is a place to avoid in favor of open spaces lest those edifices become your tomb too easily and nothing incurs rancor so much as a vessel left unattended in the hot summer months. We should mandate ourselves to the open-air squalor of a living village, its pig shit aligning the streets and the smell of the unwashed worker wafting towards our olfactory senses. If we could but remember that just a short time ago, we would be unobserved while scraping meat from the bone in the cool autumn air. Unobserved and within reach of a straw hut. It was perhaps a time without a mirror, without a picture of our self and only a short two hundred years previous in the tumultuous decline that is collective human history.

 

” When you are young, architecture is a place in which you hide. When you are grown, it is a place to avoid in favor of open spaces lest those edifices become your tomb too easily and nothing incurs rancor so much as a vessel left unattended in the hot summer months”

 

When I look at face-swap, when I look at the gratuitous idiocy of selfie culture, I always wonder why the government (one) is so busy trying to introduce an index of facial recognition programming. Isn’t enough to be catalogued by ones own desire to promote their coy, sexy, or drunken rampages into the torpid annals of social media culture? Have we not provided the state with enough information about our bodies for them to simply extract the data from the torrent of our neediness on the Internet? Apparently it is not enough. Why worry about CCTV, why worry about facial camouflage on the streets of New York when our culture is pre-disposed towards neediness and self-exploitation? Control. Apparatus. Control. Collaboration. We are awash in the de-sanctified version of ourselves. Let image be man, woman and fawning child. Let us not wallow in the struggle anymore. Let us gift our identity, wrapped in silk ribbons to those who wish to catalogue our potential to rebel. We have begun the great process of individual dissolve, the electronic summation of our non-self. We now celebrate giving control in the belief that we are individuals with merit.

“Spirits is a Bone” by Broomberg & Chanarin for MACK leaves me with questions of how long it will take to wash our selves, our architized identities away in the deluge of our own idiocy. I want to gift my non-entity to the state. Hope is treason. I wanted very badly to rally the troop of self against THE MACHINE if you would like to call it that when I paged through this. I have given up. I have read this incredible tome as a signpost for the reality of why we cannot win. I have seen their faces, all of them. I have caught the joke of replicating these faces into art practice and the repetition of pushing the unintended agenda out into that of acceptance. “We should talk about this”. Why should we talk, our mouths are only one facet of the catalogue. We can remove our orifice and we can submit it to the treacherous void along with the nose, the ear, and that eye. This eye that condemns our trace passing. Biometrics. Regulation. Where do you wish to exist, I ask myself. Can you exist outside of this catalogue? Highly Recommended.

 

 

Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin

Spirits is a Bone

Mack Books

(All rights reserved. Text @ Brad Feuerhelm. Images @ Broomberg & Chanarin.)

 

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