"There are no tyrannies that would not try to limit art, because they can see the power of art. Art can tell the world things that cannot be shared otherwise. It is art that conveys feelings."

 - Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine 

Worth Fighting For

Collection M HKA, Antwerp / Collection Flemish Community, image: © M HKA
Sacrifice, 1993
Painting , 70 x 90 cm
oil, canvas

Sacrifice represents a person seen from the back, who is facing a line of legs and feet. Marlene Dumas uses photographs and films as source material, alters and enlists them for her own purposes. 
Dumas allows reality to resonate in painting. She starts out from reality and moves into a pictorial reality, whereby she merges intimacy, embedded humour, tragedy, experience, and acceptance. In her work, feelings, reflection and action appear to operate in concert.
It is impossible to estimate the tenor of her intentions, for a painter can in the end only be read in the painting’s form. The work’s title, the way it is painted and the use of colour convey the impression of an emotional event. However, we do not know exactly what is happening. Dumas leaves ample room for interpretation.
In the context of Ukraine today, Sacrifice could sound like the voice of every Ukrainian woman: vulnerable in the face of an aggressor.