Marlene Dumas

No more Interviews

  1. I don’t want to give any more ‘spontaneous’ interviews. It presupposes an ease, which I don’t have with my interviewer, or the interview situation. It’s sham spontaneity.
  2. The informality of the spoken word and the formality of the written word are two separate things. Now more than ever.
  3. A respect for, or making a distinction between, private and public matters is something that is being increasingly undervalued.
  4. In oral conversations, gestures (along with tone, emphasis, allure) are extremely important. But the interviewer doesn’t translate these things. I’m not there when he or she writes about me. And neither do I want him or her with me when I answer their questions. In this way there’s no disguising the artificiality of the conversation, and the written material is more genuinely reflective.
  5. I’m not an entertainer.
  6. I can’t think things over properly with a stranger facing me.
  7. Art is not a suitable subject for snappy answers or the brilliant one-liner.
  8. The opposite of openness is not always elitism. People have a fundamental need for privacy, particularly in a world bombarded with messages, and psychological snares and media manipulation, which have nothing to do with friendship or with in-depth research or analysis.
  9. I don’t speak Dutch.
  10. I have a gallery that is aware of my points of view.

p.s. the title of my exhibition implies the extent of the problem.

No Smoking in public
Public secret. Public school = private school.

The intimate world of the child versus the public, displays of interrogation, violence + law and order + security systems. The teachers teach politics. The teachers teach art, the laws of one’s culture.

Human beings can’t live without secrets.
That which is most important to one’s wellbeing is not public relations.

No more Interviews. First published 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 [No more Interviews was handwritten on a leaflet (together with Notes on the Private versus the Public and Notes on my Text) handed out separately during the show Marlene Dumas, Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam, 1987].