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The manic voice and distorted guitars of Throbbing Gristle’s ‘Very Friendly’ fill the space as L walks in. 

It was just an ordinary day in Manchester
Ian Brady and Myra Hindley…
Drinking German wine
Myra Hindley put on a dark wig and drove Ian Brady to the mainline station.

L vaguely remembers that the song might have been about Ian Brady and Myra Hindley’s last murder, committed on 06 October 1965. 
Very friendly.
Violence spiralling. 
Twisting and turning its invisible arms.
In and out they go, penetrating.
Spaces feel strange, crushed, unsafe. 
LA LA LAND of rusty welfare state expectations, the fog of volatility and loneliness. 
L moves hesitantly, gliding through as the metal fencing morphs.
Spiralling downwards. An endless house without a home. 

As L tries to get out, he walks into a bleak landscape of entrapment, a zone so alien you feel like you’re inhaling radioactive particles. He steps into the empty pool-like container. Inside, he comes across a second empty low well. He sits down on the edge.
Over years, just like fibreglass, he went from being soft, warm, raw, and mouldable to being everlastingly hard, cold, and dead.
What has hardened will never win.
A Matryoshka-like life in a Matryoshka-like environment.
You usually keep peeling the layers until you get to a soft core, but now the core is stiff and empty.
A life within a life. A mise en abyme. A well within a well. A painting within a painting. Into the abyss. So many layers of useless shields, and protection. A small shield to fit inside a larger shield as reality becomes more folded in on itself and the walls become more hazy.
Untitled manipulating time and architecture instead of pigment and oil.
A perfectly framed Shakespearean mousetrap.
Less Sauvage Than Others, Contribution for a Childrens House seven bronze-cast pistols—things for children to play with…the perfect puppetry of defence.

There are things behind the steel walls. 
Where the long shadows fall. 
There are things behind the steel walls.
Where the long shadows fall. 

Last night L dreamt he couldn’t see past the steel walls, past the scratches and wounds. They multiplied, layered. They blocked his vision. 
The somatic unease of confinement. The growing uncertainty and ambivalence about his safety as violence and fear seep through the cracks of the floor, broken windows, implanting themselves into the scratches, moving without a sound.
When all language fails, we are left with the real cruelty, the word-less embodiment of our fears.
The self-immolated and wounded surface of Incarnation IV has been scratched, opened and washed—transforming violence into an act of revolt. 
But… there are things behind the steel walls. 
Dolls, puppets, marching bunnies, and masks. Living or inanimate.
Boo! with its blood shot eyes.
Don’t you cry little baby, go to sleep.
When you wake, you shall have all the pretty little horsies. 
Seven bronze-cast pistols and all the pretty little horsies
L thinks about yesterday’s headlines: “Satanists grab kids.”
The presence of fear and violence, all around his blood-shot eyes. Outside of his peripheral vision.

Same night, Edward Evans was also getting dressed in his best…
And then somebody came towards him wearing blue suede shoes, and it was Ian Brady, and he introduced himself, he said “Hi, my name’s Ian, I saw you, uh, down at the Viking last week. Why don’t you come back to my place and we can, uh, drink some German wine, I’ve got a car around the corner, my sister’s there, she’ll drive us back. 
It’s only in Hyde, it’s not too far. 
If it gets late, you can always stay the night.”

Very friendly

Before violence unfolds, the darkness of life has to layer up. It’s resting its head on the table.
The characters are absent.
L is looking at them closely, inspecting their hands, the non-existence of their eyes.
“What do they want? Are they lonely? Are they scared? Are they violent? Are they powerless?” 
They don’t even know if they should live or die.
They just want to go somewhere to disappear.
L wants to stay there and continue staring at them, but he cannot.
The space gradually fills with the subtle traces of violence and tragedy that terrify him the most.
He thinks about all the things we are so deeply embedded in that we no longer notice we live by their rules.
The invisibility of a gun bonded to a corporate shirt.
The unsettling silence before sex or a scar left by a lover who broke your heart.
The ballistic vest moulding in the corner. 
The eyes of a child before a school shooting.
Those sticky, sickly moments before and after violence are the most violent.
There is no violence in the violence of fighting through tear gas.
But the scars… we finger them, they reopen, the image is over saturated, as in the opening sequence of a hit show. 

L dreamt he went to the doctor’s and she gave him eight minutes to live. He’d been sitting in the fucking waiting room half an hour.
In this room, dancing
Dancing for you
L remembered that when he went to the doctor’s that day, he thought to himself how his skin was the only thing keeping him from disappearing.

There are things behind the steel walls. 
Where the long shadows fall. 
There are things behind the steel walls.
Where the long shadows fall.

And Myra Hindley went over up the road to see David Smith, and Maureen her sister, and David Smith didn’t have a shirt on and he was drinking tea with his wife.
“Why don’t you come back to our place David. We’ve got something rather special to show you.”

L is thinking about all these deranged serial killers, the True Crime obsession. 
Are they loathsome tonight? 
Does their madness shine bright?
I Know Its Sick But Its So Much Fun.

In the age of networked information insanity, the unseen is what weighs heavy. 
The broken promises of safety dance with pleasures, twisted and darkly veiled.
Sickly, sticky violence trickles.
Chopping and chopping. 
Kills invisibly to keep the world turning. 
Theatrical blood splatters all over the shiny steel of the axe. 
All over the silicone tits, cum like.
Blood within the public eye. They own it.
But it’s really the bloodstained coasts that keep the world turning.

Myra Hindley said, “Why don’t you go in there David, you might like what you see.” 
So he opened the door while Myra went in the kitchen to get more German wine…
And when he went inside he looked over to the sofa, and there was Ian Brady… chopping at Edward Evans’ head with an axe!  
And he was chopping, and chopping, and the axe was going into the back of his neck, and there was blood spurting over the Church Of England prayerbook.

The spectre of violence looms omnipresent, it cannot be rationalised, yet is diffused by the theatrics of the stage. 
Some body marks bear witness to actual harm, some imitate them—hiding the real threat. 
Strange apparitions of violence. 
The unknown knowns.
A body propped against the building’s interior, unable to escape.
A body navigating the space, following the bizarre system of movement, unable to escape.
A body constantly bending under the hits, unable to escape.
A body hitting the ground, unable to escape.
A body blinded and tied up with duck tape, unable to escape.
And the car reverses over.
A body in the basin.
A body in a basement.
And the car reverses over.

L is too depressed to notice. He walks in circles, like the system which reproduces itself through violence, like a gonidium. The infinite tragedy.
We collapse in the heart of order.
Listen to the sound of one hand clapping.

L thinks to himself, “Should I be here? Is it coming?”
A dotted line on the throat that says: cut here.

There are things behind the steel walls.
Where the long shadows fall. 
There are things behind the steel walls.
Where the long shadows fall. 

And it was the police station, and the rather fat police sergeant who was trying to finish checking his football pools heard the phone ring, and he said, “Oh, shit.” 
And he put down his mug of tea which had a coronation picture of the queen on it, and he picked up the phone, and when David Smith heard the policeman answer and say, “Yes, what do you want?” he told him and said, “There’s been a m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-murder!”
Ian Brady and Myra Hindley…
Very friendly… 

Agnes Gryczkowska

Darja Bajagic
I Know It’s Sick But It’s So Much Fun, 2016 (detail)
Acrylic paint, canvas, UV printed canvas 
181 × 215 cm
© Darja Bajagic, courtesy the artist; Carlos/Ishikawa, London and New Galerie, Paris
Davide Allieri
Davide Allieri
ZONA, 2022 (detail)
8 pieces, dimensions variable, 200 cm diameter, 90 cm high
Courtesy Davide Allieri Studio
Romeo Castellucci
Romeo Castellucci 
B. #03 Berlin – III Episodio della Tragedia Endogonidia.
Video memory by Carloni-Franceschetti. 2003. 
Photo: Luca Del Pia