The Return of the Non-dead

Paintings tell stories
like zombies walk the earth.
I moved slowly from
the faces to the bodies.
From the eyes to the skin.
From the word to the flesh.

Snow white wants to compete
with the man of sorrows.
Snow white has to compete
with the man of sorrows.


The Return of the Non-dead was originally published in German as Die Rückkehr der Nicht-Toten in Prospect 89: Eine internationale Ausstellung aktueller Kunst (cat.), Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, 1989; it is 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.