After settling in Los Angeles in 1968, de Cointet became fascinated with the English language and American popular culture (particularly that of southern California). He collected phrases, words, and even single letters from television and literary sources and worked these elements into nonlinear narratives that he then performed as plays, often incorporating related paintings and works on paper as focal objects. This drawing is an example of de Cointet's scriptive compositions, in which text is reduced to algorithmic visual codes rather than narrative sentences. The artist meticulously reversed the direction of the text (snippets of mundane conversations), rendering it legible but just beyond actual comprehension. It appears correctly only when held to a mirror upside down—a performative act whose symbolism was not lost on de Cointet.
Gallery label from I Am Still Alive: Politics and Everyday Life in Contemporary Drawing, March 23–September 19, 2011.