Everyone is aware that life is parodic and lacks an interpretation.
Thus lead is the parody of gold.
Air is the parody of water.
The brain is the parody of the equator.
Coitus is the parody of crime.
(Georges Bataille ‘The Solar Anus’ 1927)
Several years ago, while browsing the shelves of a second-hand bookshop in what was to become the Kings Cross regeneration zone, we discovered the pulp novel ‘Luxury Complex’ by Edward L Palmer.
Though dating from the 1970s, the narrative of Luxury Complex is striking in its oddly prophetic, even visionary implications, apparently anticipating the true story of ritual abuse at the heart of London’s contemporary property market. The book concerns a 21st century upmarket housing development built on the grounds of a demolished children’s hospital: a medieval grimoire unearthed during the demolition unleashes a corrupting revolutionary image swarm, generating domestic chaos, gentrified apocalypse, possession and yuppie nightmare - images that invade the dreams of the new residents and then start to control their behaviour.
Working collaboratively, we have adapted the plot and premises of Palmer’s forgotten novel as the bases for an installation, taking Bataille’s notion of the parodic as a generative principal: a conceptual desiring machine engaged in an absurdist production of occult or coded meaning.
‘Luxury Complex: Remembering Satan’ is an exhibition as serialized novella, degenerating over four consecutive weekends. Its meta-narratives are stimulated by parody, pareidolia, hypnotic regression and mimetic contagion.