One of Marlene Dumas’ professors in Cape Town once said that he appreciated the former student’s “terrifyingly free way of looking, asking, showing, questioning, mocking, risking and joking”.
When I finished my studies at the University of Cape Town, I applied for several scholarships and managed to secure a two-year scholarship to study art abroad. At that time, everyone involved in the modern art scene thought that New York was the most interesting place to be. I, however, didn’t feel ready to be there - in fact, to be perfectly honest, I was afraid of going to New York, afraid of the New York art world because I still wasn’t sure about what I wanted to do; so I thought I would start by moving to Europe and that, with my affinity for the Dutch language, I would feel more comfortable in Holland.
“Essentially, we are the working group that tries to translate, as faithfully as possible, the artist’s requirements for producing their work and, if they are paintings, for being able to display them in the best possible way in terms of both lighting and space. In a way, we are the ones who really have to manage to plumb the depths of each artist’s obsession. Every artist is different, and comes with a different obsession, so we have to try to think through that specific lens and find the right people to collaborate with.”
“I must admit that Pasolini was a very attractive man. I don’t remember precisely when I became such a fan of his, but I still remember the time I hitchhiked to Paris to see his film Salò. And I saw it in Italian with French subtitles, so I couldn’t understand a word - I just looked at the pictures. What interested me about Pasolini was his links with politics, religion and the sacred; then, in Mamma Roma, there was the mother-son relationship. I always thought it was wonderful to be able to find different kinds of love stories in his films.”