Marlene Dumas

The beginning of Love Stories and the End of cultural Privacy

Don’t use the word identity in my presence.
For years a political system (in South Africa)
insisted that what they’ve done, they’ve had
to do to protect my identity.

Yes, I am fascinated by the exotic, and the
erotic and the barbaric and the heroic.
Yes. I am scared of Black people.
Yes I am scared of white people and dead
people and sick people and especially those
who say they like my work.

Raw and cooked
A fisherman caught a mermaid, took her
home to his family and called the TV people
to come and record this catch. But when
they all rushed in to view this sensation,
the grandmother had put her in a pot and
cooked her for dinner.

I’ve always loved sad men, images of naked
women, mermaids, God, tombstones and
the smell of gasoline…

The beginning of Love Stories and the End of cultural Privacy. 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 [written for the catalogue of the show Cocido y Crudo by Dan Cameron, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, 1994-1995].