Wednesday, 4 July 2007

FRIDA-DAY

If there was a "Fridaday", like Comic Relief or that day where loads of strangers dress up as Santa, bump into each other and finally converge upon Trafalgar Square, except that on Fridaday you would go about your day dressed as the world famous, injured Mexican self-portraitist Frida Kahlo, looking out for other Kahlos, maybe approaching one of them and sitting down somewhere for a pastry... would that work? Might you be up for it?



Details of the day could be posted on a website, along with photographs and costume suggestions: Frida Kahlo biting a necklace, - with two birds, - leaving the church, - with a blue satin blouse in a hospital bed holding a mirror, - with a rabbit, - holding a baby goat in Chinese pyjamas, - with flowers in her hair, - with a doily on her head, - on her death bed. You could meet, be beautiful and compare injuries. A dad might be seen dragging his six-year-old son to school in a plaster cast dressed with a hammer and sickle... or Rugger playing Kahlos with smeared lipstick and joke shop boobies tearing down Charing Cross Road... Monobrows could be given away free with copies of the Radio Times.

Self-portraits are paintings of mirrors. That's what really interests me about dressing up as Frida Kahlo. That and love and damage. I am not Mexican, do not paint, have never had an affair with Trotsky, and have known neither great pain nor poverty. But like Frida I can't give birth, and I seem to spend quite a lot of time in bed.

Here's the homunculus from the Natural History Museum whose job it is to show "what a man's body would look like if each part grew in proportion to the area of the cortex of the brain concerned with its sensory perception" covering his nakedness and having a bash:

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"Neon Trotsky?... Oh yeah. I met him at a party. The theme of the party was communism. I was sitting in a wheelchair. He said, 'Is it alright if I come over to talk to you?' and looked about. I said, 'Sure,' and budged up. 'Cheers. Actually I'm hiding from someone.' 'Who?' 'Stalin' 'Hang on,' I said, 'You're neon Trotsky!' 'Shh. Listen, your eyes are weary magnets, Do you want to go for a ride on my bike?' he asked. 'YES.'...

"And he lifted my shitty, wooden body onto the back of his ceramic, double-rotor, 2-wheel-drive, 12,000 rpm Citizen and off we thraped into the night, startling the brown horses, doing wheelies and endoes up an Olmec Ziggurat. And everything we touched turned into a toy...

"And I felt so at home with him as we lay together, making colours, explaining light...

"I barely needed to breathe...

"But I had to explain to him that I was just on the rebound from Josephine Baker with the bananas, and that otherwise Paris was a total nightmare, everyone telling me what a gift my body was to the surrealists. Well THANKS...

"I mean, I know we age and die. I read Doonesbury."

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