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|For Marlene Dumas and Erik Kessels it was a challenge to work together with such a well-known (film) composer as Ryuichi Sakamoto. He is used to taking account of the images for his compositions, and in this case he has allowed himself to be inspired by both of them. Dumas and Kessels have been working closely since the start and have based themselves on a common concept.
For My Daughter Dumas filmed the sleeping body of her child. It is her first video work and the slightly slowed-down shots and the blurred use of colour make it seem as though she is painting with the camera. The camera glides over her daughter's body, zooming in onto her hand, her buttocks, her loose hair... We as viewers soon feel like voyeurs as the camera records more than a sleeping girl alone. Willingly or not, something of a Lolita effect crept into the innocent image. As both mother and artist, it seems as though Dumas is aware of this and wanted to show how the erotic slowly but surely takes possession of someone (perhaps this is why there is that one shot of a skull placed somewhere in the room).
Erik Kessels' contribution is called My sister and seems at first sight also an ordinary home movie. Brother and sister are playing table tennis in the garden, with the mother intervening now and then. Styled in the warm brown and orange tones of the Seventies, Kessels has adapted their movements to the whipped up, repetitive rhythms of Sakamoto's music. Nothing seems able to disturb the idyll - only the music suggests something ominous - until suddenly we are told that Kessels' sister was killed in an accident twenty-five years ago. This unexpected information causes a shiver to run down your spine and makes the sounds, which are like children's voices, in Sakamoto's composition extra cruel. Dumas's ode to her daughter would seem to imply a sequel, while with Kessels the message is implacable. His sister only still exists by the grace of memory.