Honza Zamojski — Me, Myself & I

25.06 — 31.07 2011


* What constitutes a face? *

a pair of eyes

a nose

and a mouth


well, actually, it could just be

a pair of eyes

and a nose


or even

a nose

and a mouth


but what about

a pair of eyes

and a mouth

* *


There is also the possibility of many more eyes, and two mouths, and three noses – and what about ears? Ten eyes, three ears, four mouths and no nose. Three mouths, four eyes, three strangely shaped holes where we first thought a nose, and 6 bulbous pads that pick up vibrations.


xx Or what about none of these things at all. xx

What about just a neck.

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I suppose you would just need a neck and something that differentiates a front and back to the head.

The front would then be the face.

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What do we do when we attempt to make a self portrait?


1. We burst the categories that we once had of ourselves and tear into ourselves looking for a deep kernel of truth, attempting to show ourselves bare, nothing withheld, nothing dishonest. Only our self.


2. We airbrush.


3. We title.


4. We romanticize.


5. We make up stories that people will more or less verify if asked to do so.


6. We force people to verify the stories of ourselves through public displays of self-orientation.


7. We repeat.


8. We find ourselves stuck in circles of reference that cannot but make us laugh at the search for certainty.


9. We repeat.


10. We draw diagrams and charts and find our genealogies.


11. We track our histories and draw them out, but in the end its more similar to churning milk into butter.


12. We look to those moments of our past that are most intimate. Those points of juncture where we made a real leap. That moment in the 90s when we tore the plastic off that first Wu-Tang tape and were inculcated in the ways of those Shaolin masters. You started looking at frogs differently. And then lizards, and then dogs differently. The stars began to move.


13. We mark the changes in our lives, and make note that the rulers of change also change.


14. We demonstrate the undefinability of self while managing to tell a ton of stories that would lead one to believe that there is really a self. (Is it too much to ask to believe in a self, or at least a being that might have a little tiny bit of freedom?) The ground was already shifting.


15. We find ways to master ourselves through first showing self-knowledge, second showing its impossibility, third, regarding ourselves as funny little things among other things, each circling the other, discretely, but with permeability. It’s only funny ha-ha half the time.


16. We find that just as there is a strange membrane between everything we touch and experience, the same goes with ourselves, and so we try to arrange these membranes and moments of distance as lyrically as we can, not to defeat mediation, but to make ourself new, out of what is already there. The carbon told tales to the teller but never got past the initial seller (cellar).


17. We find that as we continue pulling from the past, we must make borders, we must play games, we must draw and erase, we must delineate, garden the way we see ourselves as it will always both constitute something very solid and something very momentary. The water was deeper than we thought.


18. Sometimes, what we’re able to find is so heavily dependent upon how the world can be seen that we must try to look for new ways to see things and new ways to do things and new ways to say things, all so we can then go back to interrogate once more. Once there were 9 planets.


19. We atomize, looking closer and closer still, revealing new worlds of sense that don’t make sense when we remove the microscope. Much of what we see is striated, different parts becoming clear under different lenses of focus.


20. We catalyze. As soon as a portrait is made, it shifts us just a little bit. Sometimes a lot.


21. On occasion, we’ll find automatic ways of telling stories. The daily catalogues of our life, receipts and tabulations, becoming the meat and bone of a face.


22. We reflect on the mise en abyme of reflection.


23. We repeat.


24. We find easier ways to laugh at ourselves.


25. We find easier ways to laugh at the world.


26. We begin the never-ending list of all the things we’re not.


27. We speculatively approach, with a very long stick, the things that we might be.


28. We take photos; make scrapbooks; keep notes, textbooks, old handprints.


29. We allow color to tell our story, as mysteriously as it might be able.


30. We let the forms of our life dictate the picture of ourselves.


31. We shrug at the things we can’t help but be.


32. We make all the things we can’t help but be into contingencies. If you want to change your heart, get a new one. If you want to change your ears, get new ones. Your head? Get a new one. Even your teeth, those things that they said would help identify you even if you were burned to a crisp, even then can be replaced with a new grill. So if they found you as a pile of ash, at least there would be that smile waiting for them.

text: Ajay Kurian