John, artwork by Harald den Breejen; partial installation view at Legion TV, London

Installation detail at Legion TV; photo courtesy of Catharina Heeckt

John

consists of a collection of roughly 200 books, all of which feature characters called John. The piece works along the principle that (of course) these are all the same John, appearing, as we all do, in many different settings. The books were gathered by the artist during long searches at booksellers, where he is sure some Johns were overlooked and left behind. From the onset, the collection can only yield an incomplete picture of who John in fact is. As such, John represents the chance encounters and passing conversations that make up others’ pieced-together understandings of all of our inner selves. As shown in the exhibition space, the collection is offered as an invitation to the viewer to pick up individual books, and to look for appearances of

John

(or anyone else) among their pages - to make their own unique acquaintance, uninhibited by the storylines of the books he happens to appear in.
John, artwork by Harald den Breejen; partial installation view at Legion TV, London

Installation detail, photo courtesy of Catharina Heeckt

John, artwork by Harald den Breejen; partial installation view at Legion TV, London

Installation detail, photo courtesy of Catharina Heeckt

John, artwork by Harald den Breejen; partial installation view at Legion TV, London

Installation detail, photo courtesy of Catharina Heeckt

John, artwork by Harald den Breejen; partial installation view at Legion TV, London

Installation detail, photo courtesy of Catharina Heeckt

To accompany the exhibition, a book was compiled taking a page from each of the sourced books. These pages follow each other in numbering, but otherwise create a new narrative by chance with John at its heart. The book is available to view in digital format here, and is available in paper form by emailing the artist. Exerpts from the book were recorded as audio versions, one of which is available here:
alt : John audiobook sample
John, artwork by Harald den Breejen; publication

John, artwork by Harald den Breejen; publication

John, artwork by Harald den Breejen; publication

John, artwork by Harald den Breejen; publication

John, artwork by Harald den Breejen; selected spreads from publication

Selected spreads from publication

John, artwork by Harald den Breejen; selected spreads from publication

Selected spreads from publication

With thanks to Siobhán, Kiera, Hayden, Sjoerd, Adam, Legion TV, Radio Noord-Holland, and Five Points brewing.