Introducing: John Holten


Editors’ note: As we head towards publication, we thought we would introduce our contributors.

John Holten is an Irish writer and artist based in Berlin, and runs the ‘fictional’ publishing house Broken Dimanche Press, an avant-garde press that takes its queue from Yves Klein‘s one-day newspaper, Dimanche-Le Journal d’un Seul Jour. John is the author of The Readymades, a novel that documents a fictional network of Serbian artists known as the LGB group (“in defiance of the 21st century’s obsession with the virtual, LGB strives to produce an art of the everyday — having experienced the everyday in its murderous aspect”). We’re pleased to run an extract from Oslo, Norway, a roman fleuve on “love and the creation of fictions.”

Let us not ask then for now or for something for nothing, what was is consigned to the world and what wasn’t is consigned to time. To be, is easy. Not to be, is difficult. Let us move toward being then. The end is something none of us know intimately in the present. But it’s straight up ahead, look no further than the bottom of this page.


The ends.

Until such time that they all begin again.

The destruction of worlds, all that extinction and more, the slowing currents of our sun. The Higgs boson, the extraction of oil, gold. Let us embrace nothingness and try to fill it with being, because in our ever-increasing specialized imaginations we trundle toward nothing and absence not with any ceremony or sanctity but blindly. Our domain over matter, things, people, is only ever a progression toward our own doom, inevitably bringing us down, away from the light of our roiling sun, into the empty space of a world unfurling. Walking up an escalator in the wrong direction, against the current in a shopping centre.

Let us introduce a street. It is dark with figures moving down its incline. It is in the east of a city, connecting neighbourhoods. The figures are returning home, their hands touch each other, entwine. A smile in the dark.

We are and we will not be, the line between is what makes up our life.
What the rain doesn’t say but shows.

A year of solo love.

To be and not to be, on this street.

[Image: Agora Collective]