A Dire Display of
Feudal Fiends in
Scenes of Serfdom

Machine embroidery on handwoven jute fabric

‘A dire display of feudal fiends in scenes of serfdom’ is an embroidered work examining aspects of modern feudalism. Created by machine and hand embroidery, 12 scenes are presented on jute fabric, produced in the early 20th century. Embroidery once dominated as an exclusive technique that was used in the creation of medieval heraldic flags. It was time consuming and therefore expensive and impossible to mass produce. Hence this technique adds to its purpose: displayed to impress and showcase class and hierarchy.

The 12 scenes present a neo-feudal reality, where feudal elements in society now and feudalism 'then' stand together as embroidered landscapes. Each of these show their cause and/or effect of living in a post-capitalist world. From burning hinterlands to new legislative borders. From increased inequality to data currency.

The heraldic banner, used historically for identification and presentation of status and possession, poses the problematic western view on property. The work manipulates the flag’s original various purposes to parallel elements of today’s socio-economic realm.

Different side-effects of contemporary feudalization can be seen in the work. In this hyper-modern form of feudalism, we consider that capitalism has mutated into something else - a social order that is closer to a feudal structure than to capitalism. What is it that pushes us into this new direction? It is this question of our times that is central to the work. From bottom to top, we go through the fundamental themes in an attempt to find an answer and to playfully display this part of today’s reality.

This work was shown as part of the group exhibition ‘Brandt New’ at Rutger Brandt Gallery