Currently closed for installation

11 November 2020—6 December 2020

The Knees and Ankles of a Landlord

Nick Modrzewski

exhibition catalogue Purchase Book

These days, property portfolios are covered with skin.

They stretch and wrap around blocks of land, brick buildings, prams, tables, forks. Everything.

The house is just an extension of the body. So, too, are other things – wallets and shoes and cats and bins, etc. Property can convert regular knees and ankles into the knees and ankles of a Landlord. The rituals and processes of this alchemical rite are intricate and layered. Take, for example, the violent initiation ceremony for new Landlords at the Land Titles Office. Or the historic 'Tibia Fibula' celebration, which would see Feudal Landlords crawling inside miniature manors or castles, leaving only their knees, ankles, toes or fingers exposed.

It often takes years to witness a tenant “become” a Landlord – to “fill the knees”, as the common phrase goes. Put in all the ingredients: the mortgages and other debts, the tenancy agreements and rights of entry, the land tax and all those minerals, soil, rocks, grass, sand and hills. Once the knees are “filled” and the ankles “topped up”, a body that was once “tenanted” is invested with a new status in the social hierarchy.

The body elevates. The body grows.

A Landlord is born.

Nick Modrzewski