naked as you see me


Lesley Harrison

from Pia Arke’s exhibition Arctic Hysteria at Greenland’s National Museum & Archives, Nuuk, 2010

I am in my body. I am here, in front of you. I am the temperature in this room. I am undressed in my nudity; I am the light and shade you feel. I am more like other people than like you. I have before and after. I am my self, entirely and only. My outside and inside are continuous. I am muscle, organ, fluid, bone. I am monumental. You are the only one who sees me.

I am not naked as I am; I am naked as you see me. I am transparent, almost visible. I have a time and a place. I am tribal and exotic. I must always carry objects. You are heroic. I am a complete museum, the story of my own making. I am a mirror to you; you are reflected in the looking at me. At best, I mimic you. You write me. When you leave, I will no longer exist.

I am a single conscious point. I am indifferent. I am unself, like a photogram. I am prehistoric, before definition. Your body falls over me. I have depth and luminescence. I am neither here nor there; I have infinite extension. I live inside the lived world, the light and dark inside my head like dream substance. I am camera obscura, the room itself. I both adore and resist.