Today My Heart Is Empty (Journal of Visual Culture & HaFI, 4)

This is the fourth instalment of a collaborative effort by the Journal of Visual Culture and the Harun Farocki Institut, initiated by the COVID-19 crisis. The call sent to JVC’s editorial board, and a wide selection of previous contributors and members of its extended communities, described the task as follows: „There is a lot of spontaneous, ad hoc opinion-making and premature commentary around, as to be expected. However, the ethics and politics of artistic and theoretical practice to be pursued in this situation should oblige us to stay cautious and to intervene with care in the discussion. As one of JVC’s editors, Brooke Belisle, explains: ‚We are not looking for sensationalism, but rather, moments of reflection that: make connections between what’s happening now and the larger intellectual contexts that our readership shares; offer small ways to be reflective and to draw on tools we have and things we know instead of just feeling numb and overwhelmed; help serve as intellectual community for one another while we are isolated; support the work of being thoughtful and trying to find/make meaning…which is always a collective endeavour, even if we are forced to be apart.'“ TH


Today My Heart Is Empty

by Jordan McKenzie


Two days ago I lost a friend Shahin to Covid 19. He was an asylum seeker who had gained UK residence from Iran. He’d been imprisoned by the regime for his political views and also was unable to express his sexuality too. In Iran he was a lecturer on an MA photography course… in the UK the only job he could get was at a supermarket. After the deductions taken out of his benefits, he was left with about five pounds a day to live on. He was let down by both governments…

#emptyheart #heart #sadness #covid #sayinggoodbye #loss #painting #contemporarypainting #textwork #textartist #queer #gay #instagay #iran #ukgovernment #letdown


Today My Heart Is Empty, 2020, 140×110 cm, oil paint, stickers, spray paint on canvas


Jordan McKenzie, artist, Bethnal Green, London
20.04.2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02