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Inasmuch as we enter into The Body Politic, (after Thomas Hobbes’ treatise ‘Leviathan’,) through the bottommost orifice of the anus, we find CADE’s obsession with waste coming to the fore. Dealing with the city as corpus, CADE explicitly approaches the breakdown of the normal functioning of the metropolis through the digestive tract, examining much as a doctor would the waste products of this body for signs of illness or disturbance. In CADE’s notes, he explicitly makes the following assertion:

“The health of the whole state can be ascertained by its attitude to rubbish.”

As with anything CADE says with any seeming certainty, we must not conflate logical examination with perverse obsession, and in this instance, we must bear in mind CADE’s habit of sniffing around those territories which are deemed lowest by the common standard. Indeed, we could take this as a rejection of the popular aspiration towards the betterment of oneself, towards the progress of society, the advances made by the common body towards its uppermost goals and ideals. This is certainly not the case here. CADE has picked up on the downwards motion that all this consumption and ideal-making produces in order to make a diagnosis of the health of this body, and in doing so, in reversing the normative logic of a society which tends only to look onwards and upwards, he discovers much through his own fantasy an entirely unexplored area of research.

What exactly it is that attracts CADE so much to the effluence of the city, to its most abject departments, is unsure. Whether he perceives some radical new form of beauty inside the garbage is unlikely; rather I tend to believe that in his microcosmic focus he has lost the attitude most of us have towards what is discarded and thrown away and instead has become ingratiated into a world of flows, blockages and movements that governs the fundamental ground of advanced society. Whether it is the way in which a bird picks apart a sliver of fat from the floor of Smithfield meat market on the cusp of the financial city, or if it is the toilet habits of commuters in the top echelons of society is all one with CADE. These are the details of a body which is beginning to malfunction, which are becoming a body without organs. Shoreditch is the place in which all this rubbish, just as on a beach, washes up in the end.

Bettany Unction
Chief Curator

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