Jimmie Durham: humanity is not a completed project | Room 18 & 19




Early this morning

(please do not imagine the reference is the time when you are reading about it;

That is, don’t read the phrase literally but instead, perhaps poetically;

As you read it is actually ‘the future’ to ‘now’, maybe even quite ‘far’

Into this imagined future .

Won’t it be interesting if you are reading it  early in your morning, though?

As though there might really be some connection

Between the reading and the writing.


Although it is just as salubrious to imagine it is now your evening,

As you try once again to decipher the old

Language  of the semi-mythical peoples of the dim past.)


I stood upon the spinning earth

Imagining the day ahead and the sun not-quite ‘above’

And the few clouds scudding, i guess, by and why

The dream from last night’s last hours stays so long in my, as they say, head.


(there could still be a connection, couldn’t there be?)

Anyone in a similar position, that is,  situated on a level physically or meta, i guess, physically

Above the normal of an area while witnessing the growing visibility

Of the  rising (seemingly)  sun might imagine  at least a short future

In which some clouds or something will scud by as the day grows, as they say, longer.


The sun is larger than we can truly concieve of  but it is only one

Among millions even  larger in this  not-exactly-large- galaxy as galaxies are ‘measured’.

A cluster of large galaxies quite far away from here, luckily,

(how might a ‘cluster of galaxies’ be imagined?)

Has been recorded as having had an explosion at the ‘edge’ of a ‘very large’ black hole.


This explosion, it is written, is/was  so strong it made a dent of sorts in the cluster.

This event, if that word makes sense at all, will have occurred so long ago

That even you, reader –in- the- future (if such a phenomenon were to come into being)  will

Not have been born yet nor me nor my ancestors or friends.


Perhaps the ‘event’ (if the simple act of standing on a small hill can be called an event)

Of standing on a small hill  obliquely because of the danger of damage to sight, watching

The sun as the earth turns

Was witnessed by a bird (they see everything we do)

Or even a bird and a (not so much timid as careful; understandably, given the situation) small, By human standards, mouse.,


Leave me alone.  I want to be alone.

Don’t leave me alone.  Essentially we are each alone.



Well, as the day becomes evening (see, that didn’t take long, did it?)

Thoughts about how one might attempt to speak to you become , if not more ‘mellow’,




Jimmie Durham  2020  Napoli

Jimmie Durham: humanity is not a completed project, installation view of the exhibition at the Madre museum, 2023. Photo by Amedeo Benestante