Laura Grace Ford
- Verso Books
- 2019 ISBN 9781786637857
- 496 Pages
- 20.4 × 14 × 4 cm
Savage Messiah collects the entire set of Laura Grace Ford’s fanzine to date. Part graphic novel, part artwork, the book is both an angry polemic against the marginalisation of the city’s working class and an exploration of the cracks that open up in urban space.
Laura Grace Ford, originally from Halifax, West Yorkshire, studied at the Royal College of Art and has become well known for her politically active and poetic engagement with London as a site of social antagonism. She exhibits and teaches across Europe and America.
“A wake-up call to anyone who can only see modern cities through the lens of gentrification.”
– Hari Kunzru, New Statesman (“Books of the Year”)
“This black-and-white, cut ’n’ paste-style zine by Ford, in which she traces her psychogeographical drifts around London’s grimey underbelly, has achieved cult status in art circles since its first issue in 2005. Be warned: this is a city you won’t find in any guidebook.”
“A delirious, doomstruck celebration of squats, riots, vandalism, isolation, alcohol, and sex with strangers, all on the terrain of a half-historical, half-imaginary city that the people who Ford follows, herself at the center, can in moments believe they built themselves, and can tear down as they choose.”
– Greil Marcus, Believer
“Ford displays authentic gifts as a recorder and mapper of terrain. She is a necessary kind of writer, smart enough to bring document and poetry together in a scissors-and-paste, post-authorial form.”
– Iain Sinclair, Guardian
“One of the most striking fanzines of recent years … focusing on the politics, psychology and pop-cultural past of a different London postcode. Ford’s prose is scabrous and melancholic, incorporating theoretical shards from Guy Debord and Marc Augé, and mapping the transformations to the capital that the property boom and neoliberalist economics have wrought. Each zine is a drift, a wander through landscape that echoes certain strands of contemporary psychogeography. Ford—or a version of her, at least—is an occasional character, offering up narcotic memories of a forgotten metropolis. The images, hand-drawn, photographed and messily laid out, suggest both outtakes from a Sophie Calle project and the dust jacket of an early 1980s anarcho-punk compilation record: that is, both poetry and protest.”
– Sukhdev Sandhu, New Statesman