Marlene Dumas

My Brain

My brain, my bank, my archive, my copies,
my country is a small room filled with other people’s traces.

My brain is a compost heap.
My art a compound expression.

As a magpie collects everything that glitters
as a dung beetle collects everything that stinks
so my savage joys are brought about.

My Brain. Written for Brain, Internal affairs: encyclopedie van het AHHA moment (cat.), Beatrixziekenhuis, Gorinchem, 1992; included in Marlene Dumas, Sweet Nothings. Notes and Texts, first edition Galerie Paul Andriesse and De Balie Publishers Amsterdam, 1998; and second edition (revised and expanded) Koenig Books London, 2014.