Dear Overpainters,

Marks vanish even when retained in memory, they detach from space like flesh from codes, and become a strangely separable inventory between figure and ground--the disaster of transparency.


(The scene begins with a close-up of a hand quickly scrawling out a note on a napkin that has Fig.1 stamped on it. "I'm leaving for Germany on Tuesday--I have 4 of Michaels paintings. Please come get them before I go--I don't even know the man! Rainald." The hand takes the napkin and slips it under the door. As he turns to walk away the door opens. A naked figure moves in between the light of the hallway and the dark of the room beyond the door).

Rainald (drunk and wavering): Is that you? I thought you you were out with that hybrid thing you like to dance with--what's it's name. Let me in. I need to sit, like a bird, on your little bed-- like the old days. "It's worth spending a night there" as you like to sing.

(The figure slips away as the door opens and the darkness of the room spills out--draging Rainald in. He stumbles about, tripping over bits of trash, unseen objects, a stuffed whale, a small table with a high school biology text, and finally falls into a small bed at the end of the room. A truck drives by in the distance and its beginning to rain).

Rainald (trying to take off his shoes): I'm leaving and Michael's 'Final Solution' hangs over my head. He actually thinks someone wants to destroy them--idiot! I keep calling him and all I get is a machine that always answers and says "I'm dead and gone. Please forget me at the tone." What madness. His work is as useless as your toys. Where the hell are my little crimes--I feel like floating. Do you want some?

(As he speaks the figure lingers in the background, almost a ghost, crawling along the wall at the other end of the room. As the shape moves closer to him the phone rings. After a couple of rings the answering machine clicks on "Dear Maldoror, undress your space and drink my invisibility at the tone." At the end of the message the shape covers him).

Rainald (beginning to fall asleep): "Madeline. You remember her. She was you, as recurrence, a pure articulation of seduction--she could even postpone death with her eyes. So she left me for some vanished overpainter. Your skin feels so different tonight, so lost, so very cold, so . . . so final. . . so . . . ."