Thursday 17 August 2023

scatologicalritesofallnations or; the uk’s indices of multiple deprivation

The subject of Scatalogic or Stercoraceous Rites and Practices, however repellent it may be under some of its aspects, is nonetheless deserving of the profoundest consideration. 

London is the most proletarian city in the country & Scat began like Robinson walking obsessively through it, striving to understand. Initially it was to urinate on the Serra in Liverpool street, which is now surrounded & huddled in hoarding. A house key opened the door & we decided to set about two shows to test the water Wurstklasse & BRITISH ART SHOW REDUX.

The name comes from John Gregory Bourke, a prolific diarist and postbellum author. His specialty? The study of urine, shit, and religion.

Scat is politics, sexuality, pleasure, experimentation, and humor. Try it. Tongue back to the dogs.  

Located within the City Wall, inside the Ring of Steel, in the teeth of the deregulated, in the Square Mile the Roman city, the boundaries of its ‘Corporation’ the Roman walls. People forget the City. 

Forget it sits outside the remit of London, run by the private company City of London Corporation (CLC), it has a private police force, private courts and there are four veneers of elected representatives at its core; Common Councilmen, Aldermen, Sheriffs and Lord Mayor. 

Still today, the CLC is exempt from numerous laws that function in the rest of Britain, with its political system deriving from the Middle Ages and its Lord Mayor selected from Medieval Guilds. 

It is important it exists here, under noses. As central as it can be, as inconspicuous as possible, as long as possible. No overheads, no FT markup, no Sadie speculation. No Money. 

Since 2021, shows before included paintings as curse in the form of skin cancer on Tommy Robinson, a drawn portrait of North West Londons most prolific naughties pervert, Norman Tebbit in the toilet, the interior designer of Boris Johnson’s house, a scapegoat painted luminous yellow, JG Ballard’s house in Shepperton as a beehive, a fools oversize shoes, etched Monster cans with Batailliean poems, Child Police Officers in meat masks, Garfield, Phoenixes and the paintings of DVD’s from Cex. New shows will include the stolen eyes from a Saatchi & Saatchi campaign, anatomic millennial genital lice, the pièce de résistance of New Labour’s neoliberal compact, ECT memorabilia, Stolen parts of UCL latest enterprise, a Bronze sculpture.

& & More. But when we want, Brewdog. When we need, Morning Star. 

In 2010, the site of which scat is on was one of the few Occupy spots, it was encamped and the area was surrounded by squats, some in banks. Within 2-3 years the memory of this had faded. 2012, Weatherley Law, LASPO criminalising squatting in commercial (non-residential) properties.

It is now 10 years on. 

As new luxury flats were built in boroughs like Newham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets, all near the top of the uk’s indices of multiple deprivation. What happened?  ‘Section 106’ agreements, a quid pro quo by which property developers, in exchange for the free rein they were given by Thatcher’s legislation, agreed to contribute towards building basic public infrastructure. 

The London Plan required developers— given a licence to print money by the staggering inflation of land and property prices in the capital since the mid-1990s—to build ‘affordable housing’ fanning incentives for the ‘right to buy’ council housing, the end of new council-house construction and a yawning rent gap, leading to a massive rise in landlordism.

Landlordism. Gallerism. Artist/Curator/Critic/Collection.

Scat then is essentially in the middle of this.

After austerity cuts, raising rents, no alternatives, shit jobs, shit housing, shit people. Solidarity Comrade, said the Oxbridge graduate on the Kings Cross bridge. SolidarityComrade101.

Scat can't really exist without speculation, of funds, legitimacy, ownership. There isn't any. There is a list, of those on speculations wing, in agreeable shoes, kinships of flagellation. Pointing fingers, too weak to do something for themselves.

We kill whispers with Harry Belanfote's hit 'Banana Boat (Day-0)' playing on a mobile phone. Next its Take Time by Scatman John.


Scat is dealt with in house (or outside), on the pavement, ankles deep in crisp packets, no conversationalists corner, plant bed seats reserved for those with dead legs. Scat exists because of a need to upend the weak, the funded, the pseudo, the ANTIKRAAK. 

(AntiKraak which translates roughly to Anti-Squat, was the dull Dutch idea that catalysed harsher legalities regarding squatting, and to an ability to privatise and thus monetise the spaces).

Scat is happened. Manoeuvrability, like finding a £20 note on the floor. We, I, do not agree with anti-squat legislation, and believe it to be a falsifying lean into 'povertyism' for the most part. Executive producers in an old hospital for £700pm. 

In the pas de deux between shit and The City, it's too early, once again, too soon to declare a winner. In the dark of night, for three hours on a Tuesday. BYOB. No explanation. 

Cole & Tim