nectarhoff: The White Gallery

The White Gallery

From "22"

“I disguise myself as a man in order to be nothing” - Francis Picabia

I will not tell you my name, but you are undoubtedly familiar with my work. The critic Apollinaire recently described me as the greatest visionary of our time. Perhaps the art you believe I created truly is extraordinary. But it does not matter, for I am a thief.

Those around me see past my hollow eyes and are surprised by the emptiness they find. They think they must be mistaken, but they are wrong. It is the shame that has eaten me away. I once brimmed with the passion of creation! But that was years ago. Only ashes remain.

I can put it off no longer. I must confess.

Each night when I go to sleep, I carry the knowledge that I will not remain in this world for long. As soon as I close my eyes, I wake in the White Gallery. 

And I am helpless in this great temple. Here art is God, and he is omnipotent. In the gallery’s halls there are countless sculptures, paintings, and pieces so alien I shudder at the thought. Who created them? The question has driven me mad. When I was younger I sometimes had the faintest feeling that I had seen these works before, yet as soon as the thought arrived, it would disappear. I do not remember the last time I felt such a moment of clarity.

The structure of the gallery itself confounds me. Its vast chambers and corridors cannot be counted, for it is a twisting labyrinth; no night does it take the same form. In this way I wander blind, yet I am never lost. I am resigned to this fate. 

I am alone.

Do not ask me where the gallery lies. I know but one thing: I am its prisoner. There are no doors, no means of escape. But even if there were, where would they lead? No, I am left to pace endlessly these halls and salons, as each night lasts an eternity.

Enough! I can speak of the gallery no more.

My waking life is a near-constant state of delirium. Whenever my gaze falls upon a mirror I am astonished to see my reflection, for I no longer exist. What then is this flesh and blood that walks among you?

Each morning when I emerge from the gallery I crawl straight to my easel, where my calloused hands copy all that I have seen the night before. What was left of me is now long gone.

What is a soul? I have forgotten.

- 5/5/14


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