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This painting belongs to a series of works in which Sarmento screen-printed extracts from philosopher Michel Foucault’s 1963 essay ‘A Preface to Transgression’ onto canvas. This essay examined Georges Bataille’s idea of transgression, arguing that it is only through limits that transgression can be achieved. In the painting the words read ambiguously as they are partially obscured and taken out of context. Such interrupted communication is also expressed through the faceless woman and blank television screen. Desire appears unfulfilled and the only gaze is that of the viewer, caught in the position of voyeur.

March 2010