What painting offers, always precedes the text, it constantly remains ahead of any speech-act and thus never falls behind the text. This precedence of the painted countenance and its traces forces the interpretation to two possible ways of reading, two readings which are equal to one another. The first interpretation perceives the face as a portrayal, it is what it represents; a painting whose depicting elements tend more towards its meaning than its indication. The second interpretation, equal to the first one, corresponds with the representation, within which the countenance indicates, trail-like without signifying in the traditional sense.
The portraits of Konstanze Sailer emphasise that countenances had once been present, faces of the past in which the sublimity of mourning, pride and pain fall into one another. The lust of past generations is reflected in the countenance and becomes a trace again that reminds us how everything that once was, is now only an unchangeable past. The portraits presented in this catalogue, with their rhythms, lines and rows, are archaeological fragments. They lay trails to the passed-by and keep the beholder within the traces of a temporal order. The facial expression as a trace, establishes a relationship with the unexpressed. The face only gets an opportunity to become visible, without serving a purpose. Providing names for the paintings helps to enable every countenance and each face behind it - pictorially composed of numerous layers of colour - to be drawn out from the menacing unknown into the comfort of the familiar.
Mentioning a name leads a previously nameless face towards a known referent. Gradually, when the observer gets involved in a relationship with the countenance, its call for address and quality of speech develops into a personal dialogue. The result of cautious differentiation and careful progression of the quality of such dialogue results in a relationship between the viewer and the painting. In this relationship between the observer and the observed the countenance can be found. The faces and portrayals of Konstanze Sailer constitute a borderland between the informal and material statements of questions and elaboration, the basis for discourse between the countenance and its beholder.