Reviews

In Kikuji Kawada’s ‘The Last Cosmology’ – A Retinal Burn in Search of Answers from the Ecliptic and Permeating Darkness

By Brad Feuerhelm on March 20, 2015

From here forward, all other stars are negated by this astringent light… the pursuit of blinding myself to the sun, your memory; my final act of love…

By Brad Feuerhelm, ASX, March 2015

Absconding from my shell of a body, I stand looking towards the lesser lights of heaven and then, dizzyingly earthbound again. Attentively, I look at your soft face one last time before I return to stare lovingly towards the eclipse’s oncoming flare, it is a flare indentured into near obfuscation and faltering darkness, a magnificent sliver of smooth yet somehow malformed circumference, its edges marked by a zenith set to destroy. You absorb my luminous blue eyes paling from behind the safety of glasses designed to give access to the ceremony of this event. In short time, my cornea’s burn and my retina’s pigment are unable to adjust to the white light cascading down into my oculus.

This is my last image of you, of everything, and of an order to which I will never return. This is the final vision I will permanently keep. Only your image will play with any clarity in my mind as my vision enters the void. Your soft features embody a flaxen idol of worship. From here forward, all other stars are negated by this astringent light…the pursuit of blinding myself to the sun, your memory; my final act of love…

In performing this ceremony, I have harnessed the power to clear my mind of every other image in its unnecessary catalogue. An act of selfless idolatry beckons towards a passion beyond “seeing”. As a young man, I thought I could go blind jerking off to the sun…now I observe that the opposite is true and the sun has gone blind jerking off to me.

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@ Kikuji Kawada

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@ Kikuji Kawada

As time passes, my vision starts to return and the former impassioned walls of exclusion berate my enfeebled brain. You are still here, we are still here, but like a fool I did not realize it would never be possible to omit the past and futures that have formed and will continue to form. The beauty of which, is that the past before “we” existed has now become overshadowed by your presence. You are hovering like a ghost over memories you were never a part of, you haunt new experiences in my life when not present, all my sight now inspired by your soft face…and again, I realize that I could never go blind, I could only consent to this gift of super sight, so long as I constructed this world with the pardon of your being.

As a young man, I thought I could go blind jerking off to the sun…now I observe that the opposite is true and the sun has gone blind jerking off to me.

Take it like a native…another collapsed vein stretched across my aging face. It will be a penance of every imagined trespass, every imagined and misaligned thought, and every imagined truncated and severed emotion that must elude us.

Slithering out of the cave on all fours for the second time…It feels like a soft return to the muddy shores of Fukushima.

Kikuji Kawada’s “The Last Cosmology” is an awkward journey through the lesser lights of heaven. Human beings rarely look up unless there is a genuine awe of inspiration or an aggrandized despair to set aside the fallibility of our mortality. Its brave to petition the skies for answers when all under our feet points towards a collapse. The book is somehow an essential inquiry of what it means to live with questions of origins, thoughts, and beckons questions as to where we place ourselves within this dilapidated framework here on the ground. In a way, the book feels unintentionally cold and distant, but I realize this is a very personal journey and that Kawada’s questions are perhaps different from my own. There are spectacular images of celestial oceans playfully jostled in between images of terra incognita, traces of machinery, collapsed habitats and images cloaked in a permeating darkness. Things feel at once homely, yet recognizable. There is a pursuit here towards an imagined abyss. It is something of a slow train coming while being tied to the tracks. That stated, this is the pursuit I have chosen reflecting on it as a whole. Kawada points towards a true vision of the chaos that surrounds us. It is an exceptional publication and it makes me seek higher truth in my very small life.

Kikuji Kawada
The Last Cosmology
Mack

(All rights reserved. Text @ Brad Feuerhelm. Images @ Kikuji Kawada.)