by Stephen Barber
We must all reflect profoundly, on England's madness…
In an alternative narrative of Thatcher's 1979 rise to power - in which her regime unrestrainedly carries through the razing of resistant cities and the extermination of all opposition - forces of insurgency have to adopt aberrant strategies and inhabit subterranean, occluded spaces to combat that regime. One insurgent cell, in the North of England, conducts a dangerous adventurous journey through decimated and depopulated lands, via such sites as the Queen's Hotel Leeds, the Denge Acoustic Mirrors and the Hinkley Point Nuclear Reactors, in order to summon up the means to sustain their insurrection of the subsequent decades, until all of England has been transformed into the form of a mausoleum of itself, created and abandoned by Thatcher and her successors, and 'the problem of England' in its cruelty and banality takes on an outlandish life of its own.
In this mythical, barbed retelling of England's recent existence - from the late-1970s punk-rock frenzies and urban disintegration of the moment of Thatcher's ascendancy, through to the upheavals of the contemporary moment - Stephen Barber explores the language needed to render England, and to reimagine it.
The archive of England is now closed...
Artworks Kurtzian Topographies by Martin Bladh,
History Rendered Apocalyptic Stephen Barber in conversation with Steve Finbow
In Thatcher’s Tomb, Stephen Barber journeys to the Heart of England’s Darkness, then and now, sifting through an archive of ash and bone, melding the entrails and fragments into an incantation that will haunt you long after you have tried to close the book.
- David Peace
Softbound, 144 pages, 200 x 148mm
First edition limited to 200 copies.
About the author
Stephen Barber’s books have been acclaimed as ‘brilliant, profound and provocative’ by The Times newspaper in the UK, and he has been called ‘a writer of real distinction’ and ‘the most dangerous man in Europe’ by The Independent newspaper. The Sunday Times newspaper hailed his books as ‘exhilarating and disquieting’.
He is the author of many fiction and non-fiction books, including studies of Antonin Artaud, Pierre Guyotat, Jean Genet and Eadweard Muybridge. Among his recent books are England’s Darkness (Sun Vision Press) and Berlin Bodies (Reaktion Books). He has also collaborated on books with the poet Jeremy Reed and the photographer Xavier Ribas. His books have been translated into many languages and have won numerous prizes and awards. He is currently a professor of art and film at the Kingston School of Art, Kingston University, London.