Shelf Life

Shelf Life, Published by Werkplaats Typografie, 2017
A publication with thoughts and texts and images by jkk, Afterword by Paul Elliman, Book designed by Adriaan Van Leuven

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Within Reason
I love the quietness and stillness of a room. The sound of our movements broke the silence of the room. But having no prospect of progress, no value, all I had was a series of nothing jobs.  What are you laughing at?  Oh, nothing, sir.  Not anything?  No single thing. All kinds of things. All things. Not anything. I said nothing. Is that a mistake? Surprise nothing. Translate nothing. Translate nothing to Azerbaijani. No Azerbaijani translation found. Time for nothing. No, no time for nothing. But I have time for nothing. Nothing Facebook, nothing Wikipedia, nothing YouTube, nothing music, nothing song. Translate nothing to Hindi: kuchh bhee to nahin. Nothing, like silence and emptiness, can be negative terms in our world of noise and excessive production. For some people the opposite applies. Notions of silence and emptiness provide active channels to a world that engages itself. And us with it. I wanted to follow a path that might help me to explore the Buddhist philosophy of ‘as it is’ or Tathata. I wanted to find a sign for the elusive ‘thingness’ of all moments, spaces and objects. That these ‘things’ might convey their own unknowable-to-us subject like a natural shadow stepping away from its artificial referent and become the air. But how about something? Something’s happening. You want me to say more something. Something between amusement and regret. We read something. Some thing. Choose something else. Choose something. Say something else. Something else. Some thing of an object, a thing, a being, a substance, or something. I am something but you really are quite something else. You have something. A flash. A fascination. Magnetism, sorcery, chemistry. Magic. Beauty. Body. Stuff. Material. Something. Stuff. World. The hand one is dealt is sort of enough. Enough things. Translate enough to Korean 충분히. Pretty much, quite some, more or less, being, somewhat, sort of, temperately, gently, quite a bit. P.E., 2017


A Great Opening (The Box), 2017
Exhibition, Installation & Performance, Link


Loops and Sequences, 2015–2016
2 Films

I study Capoeira, a form of body movement influenced by Brazilian Martial arts, but closer to dance. We constantly repeat single movements of the body or refer to shapes and gestures from other much older art forms. I have also been following a set of readings in Zen Buddhism, where life itself is perceived as a sequence of repetitions through which almost anything can habitually return in the name of reincarnation. We go through life believing that we are constantly losing things, memories, friendships, places or the different stages of our lives. Yet Buddhism shows how everything constantly returns, even if in different ways. Zen teaches a form of “routine consciousness” through which the attention we pay to any given thing is what makes it what it is for us. From Capoeira I learn that the body never forgets. From Buddhist teachings I learn that everything is connected. Both are a form of ‘routine consciousness’, often requiring us to do very little but observe the world around us. These ideas influence most of my work and my thoughts about making work. And since our work is mostly visual I often wonder: why not make work entirely about the action of looking at things? When you see yourself in the mirror it can seem as if consciousness is momentarily apprehended in the intangible focal point between your eyes and the reflection of your eyes in the mirror.

Watch a bottle of water slowly replenishing itself through the micro weather system of the container’s own condensation. Maybe it’s not work, maybe it is the observation of an idea that recurs throughout my work, recurring in you right now as you read this and your own perceptions move in and out of focus.