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By Matts Leiderstam

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However, now I am part of the museum, and not only as the image of the copyist. My after-image is guarded when I leave my place to go to the bathroom – I am helped in and out of the office with my painting – I sometimes go for lunch with some of the curators and now and then I chat with employees. Despite all signs of belonging, I feel that I am alien – maybe I do not fit in after all: for in this context I am neither a contemporary artist nor an amateur, neither an art historian nor a museum viewer.

To look at a picture is never a direct experience, for a direct experience assumes that all motivations, aspects and associations would be erased from the act of seeing. Henri Lefebvre makes a connection between the experience of looking at a painting and a face or façade, saying that the face of the painting always meets the viewer with the same logic, “… the painting turns in the direction of anyone approaching it…”70. Therefore the museum/gallery is a place like no other, in the sense that we move in this space in relation to this – most often unconscious – encounter.

She is the loyal friend who is still in love with him, and she is the only one in the film who calls him “John”. In a motherly way, she takes care of him after Madeleine’s death and decides to make a paraphrase/copy of the portrait from the museum, and to propose herself as the object of his desire. She does this by changing the portrait, painting her own face over the other woman’s face. It is now Marjorie’s ‘self-portrait’ that seeks the gaze of John/Scottie through a happy, loving, open face instead of the original woman who was bowing her head slightly with a seductive look.

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