Out April 2021
by New Juche
Hardbound, 260pages, 210 x280mm
First edition limited to 200 copies including 28 Collector's edition sets.
“From The Flowers, corpses grow.”
Built by Albert Speer in Berlin to test the possibility of constructing large buildings on Berlin’s marshy ground, this megalith of concrete — that lazy, slovenly, sluttish material — the Schwerbelastungskörper, stands as the antithesis of New Juche’s The Worm. Where concrete spreads dull and ponderously in thrall to gravity, The Worm is a Gesamtkunstwerk of polyphony, stagecraft and levitation, with its ludic prose vision of Hitler’s visage, the schizo-analysis of photography, the language of labyrinths, and the semiotics of structures both social and National Socialist. Possessed by a spurious European homesickness, and a strange ethnographic anomaly from Europe’s polar opposite, New Juche examines the inner voice of cultural transmission in the incubating mechanisms of art and architecture, detritus, and the culpable, omnivorous maw of fascination. The Worm also burrows into ineffably personal territory, as the author spends his final days in The Flowers, the nightmarish abandoned housing complex he has occupied in one sense or another for the last decade.
This man became a familiar and welcome element in my environment, and, through the charity of my gaze, took on some preternatural qualities, a kind of object saturation against the foil of the concrete and the grimy arch. Especially his face and hands assumed a lambency that began to inspire me. This unusual face and these beautiful hands began for me to associate with other distinctive and bewitching elements in that place: crisp swathes of glistening snakeskin, the concentrated reds of hibiscus petals, and the most contrived and corrupting representation of aromatic purity that equatorial nature offers the human senses — the plumeria flower.
We’d arranged to meet outside his modest dwelling just before six o’clock so that I could make use of the setting sun. I gave him the money as soon as I arrived, compulsively, and once I’d done this, I relaxed. He gave me a cup of grass jelly and we surveyed the darkening horizon and enjoyed the last shafts of sunlight as our world drifted mournfully out of their reach. I hadn’t imagined that I would take from him anything but his face. This strange face that had developed from grotesque camera-bait into a symbol of an individual man, whom, despite being hidden to the point of not existing, and apparently so unique as to disassociate from all others who might wear the same clothes, I now felt that I trusted, and whom toward I felt a tender solicitude, and a deep sense of conviction that his choices and his methods — think of his tucked in uniform and his devoted parenting — were, forsake it all, the correct ones.
New Juche lives and works in upland Southeast Asia. His books include Wasteland, Mountainhead, The Spider’s House, Stupid Baby, Bosun & The Devils. https://newjuche.com/