Marlene Dumas

The Artwork as Misunderstanding

There is a crisis with regard to Representation.
They are looking for Meaning as if it was a thing.
As if it was a girl, required to take her panties off
as if she would want to do so, as soon as
the true interpreter comes along.
As if there was something to take off.

The Artwork as Misunderstanding. Originally published in Dutch as Het kunstwerk als misverstand in Individu: Duiding, Verboden verbindingen + twijfelachtige Verbanden (cat.), ICC, Antwerp, 1991; 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.