Broadcasts: Musing | Penny Slinger (Part 3)

Blum & Poe Broadcasts presents musings by artists from their homes to yours.

Penny Slinger continues her new photo collage series titled My Body in a Box—an ongoing project created during these last weeks of self-isolation, seeking to explore the psychological entrapment and fears that accompany the experience. As Slinger has done since the 1960s, here she uses her own image and body as subject to process a range of feelings and reactions. Accompanied by her poetry and prose that are evocative of states of mind and being, Slinger’s offering is one of pain and poignancy, as well as transcendence. This series will continue to grow as a living archive, during the span of shelter in place.

Collages and poems: © Penny Slinger
Photos of Penny Slinger by Dhiren Dasu


It seems the walls
Are closing in
Less space
More pressure
Less ability
To move
To shift position
I want to 
Stand up
For my rights
Let me 
Out of the box
If not
I'll do it myself
And it won't be
For the record
I'm not speaking of
Self isolation
I'm talking
Humane rights


The slings
And arrows
Of outrageous fortune
Keep piercing me
To the core
Blood letting
My precious 
Life force
With every
Each assault
Every wounding....
I feel like Gaia.
I've heard of
'Taking one for the team'
But how many
Does one have to take?
Again and again
Over and over
Coming at me
From all directions
From past to present
More of the same
One has to be
A Saint
To keep on 
Taking it.
And by the way
The apple is on the head
You crazy marksmen
Eve knows
Or ask Magritte.


In my box

I reflect
The energies
Swirling around me
Pasting themselves
On my being
As placards
Of dissent
I resonate
I reflect
I take the knee
To pray
For the healing
Of the nations
For the remedy
Of karmic stain
On our bodies
Like blood
In the water
On our hands
Into the land
Into the very fabric
Of our culture...
Oh may it be rewritten
By giant acts
Of compassion
And by
Each tiny hand
Like mine

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BLUM Los Angeles will be open for extended hours during Frieze Los Angeles. Visit the gallery Monday, February 26–Sunday, March 3, 10am–6pm.