fragments of the white visions (from S./ Bearer of STATE, artist novel by Karin Arink)

  1. shell (moule = mussel and mould)

The space is white, very white.
Light pours in from everywhere, making the walls only visible by their thin outlines. There are no shadows. There are no people in sight.
S. is enclosed by walls. Through every opening, she spots other walls, very close by. A labyrinth.
She stands and looks around.
The air is stuffy and the walls get on her nerves. She wants to get out.
When the doors disappear, she knows what she has to do.
She starts running, right through the walls.
They are easy to run through, like paper covered with a thin layer of plaster. They splinter around her as she picks up more speed. It does not hurt at all, the breaking creates a wild feeling of pleasure. Again and again her body crashes through the thin white walls, leaving a trail of debris.
But there is no end to the walls. And slowly, the moving does become heavier. And heavier.
In the middle of a large room she stops, panting.
It is somehow
difficult to breathe, to
She looks down.
Her whole body is covered in plaster, remnants of the walls stuck on top of each other. Layer on layer of plaster has covered her, covered her completely. There is no more skin, only white.
And while she is standing still, the layers harden.
She cannot move anymore.
Her face is rigid, only her eyes can blink. The trunk compresses and decompresses in the limited space, allowing only for very superficial breathing.
S. is encased in an unbending shell, shrinking her into her place.
A mould, formed by
and shaping
weak bag of flesh.

  1. infection / infiltration

S. finds herself inside the plaster shell.
Her body is yielding to it, almost snug in the too tight enclosure.
She is not afraid. She knows that fear is something she cannot allow herself.
Composed, she waits and starts to enjoy this state.
Her self expands, the white space becoming a reflection of a boundless being. She dissolves.
Though her body remains shelled in, her mind permeates the expanse she is in.
Where did she leave her body?
When her mind has taken over the entirety of the space, there is no more room to turn and look. She has a new body now, a spatial body, with somewhere, hidden, her old one, discarded.
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But she is not alone here.
This multiple presence is avidly taking in everything in the white.
They are gazing at her. Her presence is analyzed into signs,
which open up to form sounds,
evoking images.
And one of the images is she.
They need her, to fulfill an inner need so strong they cannot keep their eyes off her. What is it they need? What is it they want?
The eyes snuggle up against her.
They want her.
They want to be inside of her.
They all want to be her.
It is unbearable. S. wants them out, but has to look into those eyes, one by one. She is flooded by a stream of images, rippling around her,
infecting her,
distracting her, from�
What again
is she
Then, vaguely, she remembers there is something else in this space.
Something valuable. Something she almost forgot.
She has to get rid of the eyes first, but they refuse to go. She is their means of existence, their vehicle of survival. She fights, but she cannot oust them.
They cling to her, desperately. They claim her space to exist.
They threaten to fill her completely.
They are so many.
She wills herself to become
like a cardboard box,
like a brick,
like a bead of glass,
like a grain of sand,
a silicon molecule.
She is forced to discard many of what she had thought to be essential assets.
It hurts, and hurts,
and hurts.
A piercing sound. An irritating, shrieking sound.
Eventually, the sound overcomes the intensity of the pain, penetrates its seamlessness, and wedges itself into her consciousness.
She gives in and searches for the origin of the noise.
She finds it.
Her body, screaming.
Still encased in plaster, it looks way too big for her now.
What does she want with it?
She wavers.
She has almost succeeded in making herself disappear.
Why would she return to that unwieldy mass, bound to immobility?
Why would she suffer the pain of that enclosure again?
Why would she risk having the eyes returning to find space in this shell filled with flesh? Compared to the shiny ingeniousness of the silicon molecule, this lump of assorted cells appears something so rough and outdated, that S. wonders how people had ever lived in one of them.
She turns away,

She is about to lose herself, when a subtle yearning spreads through her. She cannot disperse without one
she thinks,
the last word before changing all her structures into silicon.
That is why she has to return to it, to the shell.
It is her home!
Before anything can get in the way, she nestles herself back in the plaster-enveloped body.
It is not too large at all. It is too tight. There is no room for the eyes. There is no room for anything. In her consciousness, there is only room for the pain of her curtailment. The pain of isolation.
The tightness squeezes all air out of her.
That can be altered, she thinks.
She looks down on the plaster, from inside out. She pushes.
She wills herself to expand.
It hurts, again, but less than before. She leans against the pain, pushes more, forcing her lungs to inhale.
Then, from within, the plaster very slightly starts to change color. The hard white surface becomes damp. Details of skin start to emerge: dimples, hair pits, wrinkles, bluish veins, creases, apertures, bony protrusions�
The white becomes spotty, then yellowish pink.
It softens, undulates subtly. She can breathe again.
She has to get used to the feeling returning to her four dimensional surface. A whole envelope of sensatory information, moving and spatial, contained and free.

  1. question (waiting for meaning)

In the white, S. is grateful for the quiet.
It is so still that she can hear her own breathing, a soft thumping of her heart, her intestines moving compulsively.
Finally nothing around. No bodies nor objects surrounding her, no walls framing her. No words awaiting her words.
There is nothing there.
the light.
The white light.
Embedded in it, she sits down and thinks of nothing
for a long,
long time.
But the light stays. And it continues to hang there.
The light obliterates the space�s boundaries, making it diffuse endlessly.
What is this, a dream?
What is this?
What is she waiting for?
There should be some action now� Something, at least a change�
Even a slight one would do, a subtle one, altering the whiteness� shade however gradually, into…

What should be happening, then?
What should make it happen?
Who could make anything happen?
The absence of action inevitably becomes a question for her.
Is there something she should do?
Should she spark off some initiative, generating a cascade of events?
Should she stand and attempt to annihilate this space, tear the whiteness to shreds?
Or should she stay quiet and let events unfold?
But however long she waits, nothing happens.
Nothing at all.
Of course. How could anything take place, when she is the only actor present?
Where would any initiative arise from, when she does not know what is expected of her, or even why she is here?
The white
It seems to beckon her, to entice her to move, this way, or that.
But there is no difference. Only an overwhelming indifference.
There must be a clue somewhere, a key to the question, but there is not even a riddle to be solved. The sphinx remains silent.
There is nothing at all.
The white unfolds, enveloping her.
S. has to find the answer, or at the least, she is to one to formulate the question. But there is nowhere she can start. No desire is waiting to be realized, no plan starting to be hatched,
no urge is pulling her anywhere.
There is just the white.
The blinding, all-encompassing white.
After some eternity, the white becomes cold.
It is almost imperceptibly retracting, away from her. The light is still there, but she can sense its disappointment. It pulls back, more and more.
Until she is left
in a void.