XIXth Century French positivist Auguste Comte said, “The dead govern the living.” In his view, only the best ideas endure, and society progresses through the accumulated knowledge of those who came before us.
150 years later, we find ourselves at a standstill. In a post-capitalist society, we struggle to envision something new. We’re trapped in a never-ending cycle: the rise of fascism, increasing economic inequalities, and more. Popular culture is saturated with dystopias and nostalgic rehashing. Society has become a zombie culture, as discussed by scholars like Hito Steyerl, Adam Curtis, and Mark Fisher, endlessly repeating a nostalgic loop of self-reference.
“The dead govern the living.” But now, it seems the dead are governing us in a different way-our past is overpowering the present, hindering us from imagining a better future.
David Fathi and Frédéric D. Oberland present an audio-visual installation depicting the new living-dead. Real videos of political battles, bare-knuckle brawls in assemblies and senates around the world, transform our current political landscape into a zombie movie with suits and ties. Whether viewed as idealistic or nihilistic, these figures clash with their fists where words can no longer make sense of our world.

Bios: In his artistic practice, David Fathi examines the connections between science, politics, and the boundaries of human knowledge. His work focuses on transforming and rethinking the true stories and images that our society produces, from the atomic bomb to artificial intelligence, as well as quantum physics and medical ethics.
Since 2014, his artwork has been showcased at many festivals and institutions, such as Rencontres d’Arles, Houston Fotofest, and Lodz Fotofestival.
His current focus is on artificial intelligence and developing a new understanding of how past images can haunt us through current technologies. This work which has recently been published in book form by Editions L’Artiere.

Composer & multi-instrumentalist, video artist, and photographer, Frédéric D. Oberland finds himself at the crossroads of image and sound, favoring a synesthetic approach.
Oberland has been leading the Oiseaux-Tempête collective for over ten years, lying somewhere between avant-rock and free jazz, repetitive music and electronics. A founding member of the post-anything groups FOUDRE! and Le Réveil des Tropiques, he’s also performing solo and composing soundtracks for cinema and installation art.
His musical and photographic contributions have been released on international labels and publishing companies such as Sub Rosa, Sun/Sun, ZamZamRec, IIKKI, Hallow Ground, Gizeh, Constellation Records. Frédéric D. Oberland has been co-curating the NAHAL Recordings imprint alongside Mondkopf since 2018.