Some Qualities I exhibit

Indirectness, lack of
freedom, unfaithfulness and fragility …
Is commentary useful? I say yes.
Is not all the necessary information
contained in the work itself? I say no.
It is largely contained outside
the work.

One can, one does [I do] and
one has to, at times, put words
into the mouth of the work,
and/or take them out again.
One’s eyes are situated next
to one’s ears.

I have often thought of my work as
images of lamentation [elegies].
I have sometimes thought of it as
displays of unnecessary sentimentalism.
And
I also realize that artists, like
semiologists, always tend to
‘betray facts for a good phrase’.


Some Qualities I exhibit was originally published in Junge Kunst aus den Niederlanden, Young art from the Netherlands, Form und/and Expression, Sonderschau Kunstmesse ART 13’82 (cat.), Basel, 1982, p.40; and 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.