If you can identify with ‘the pictures’ generation
and with those who’ve seen more reel love than real love
and if you can appreciate Stage ,
where the two shall never meet
because they were in different scenes and on separate screens all along;
you realize that in the beginning was not the word, nor the flesh
but the Editor, who cut the frames, who gave the names and said,
‘Not tonight, Josephine.’
 Stage, 1996, a short film by Steve McQueen (black-and-white film, transferred to video, no sound, 6 min., loop).
Improper Relationships. Originally published in Marlene Dumas, Phaidon, London, 1999, p.142; and included in Marlene Dumas, Sweet Nothings. Notes and Texts, second edition (revised and expanded) Koenig Books London, 2014.