Speeches From A White Cube – Thenjiwe Nkosi


I cannot ask you to suspend these walls
and forget their context
those sidewalks live with you in some way

even with closed eyes
hands grasping the ledge of this doorway
to pull you into this implicitly still space
breath is held here
and you can feel it
even without eyes
it is felt
breath is closed here
so that art can exist as more than a whisper
as greater and higher than that sidewalk
but that sidewalk knows the grip of many feet

so art cannot ask you to suspend these walls
even as it tries so desperately
to float into more lives than it has felt
to float beyond its lonely breathless space

it feels that sometimes a stage is necessary
that politics wants to exist through it
to be bare
a plea for some kind of voice
it is conflicted by too many intentions
a world that dissolves its ink

and so
while I translate myself
into these rough edges
an aesthetic that speaks through its form
my voice is not always clear
or even wondering
and this translation
not always felt

in moments where presence
masters the contradiction of a gathered politics
silken, whispered and folded into fragile, loud wings of thought
in this power of presence
I hope that art could commune

chairs would be centred
for comfort in conversation
and walls would barely be traced out
oscillating into invisibility
our bodies lengthen
almost to the floor
our disagreements furious
our laughter echoes
our stories stretch out

to imagine into a space
is the most
powerful thing


About erin bosenberg

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