Frida through her objects wich were locked during 50 years…
Michael Hoopen Gallery features this unusuall and even odd exhibition in wich photographer Ishiuchi Miyako looks this objects rescued in 2004 from the darkness of a small bathroom in the blue house of Coyoacán.
Now we can see glimpses of her personality through what she used to wear: Shoes, garments, makeup, and several ortophedic devices. She painted and attached things on them, presumably to take ownership of them , to make them become more friendly.
It is as a message from the past, from her will to live despite her physical disabilities. Although the devices she ought to wear were terrific my sight was fixed elsewhere, maybe in her personal sense of glamour and style.
Frida said : “Pies para qué los quiero si tengo alas pa´ volar” . This is “Feet, why should I want you if I have wings to fly” . One of the photos show her fake leg, beautifully painted and wearing a red boot. Frida herself tried not to be defined by her desease all her life long. She was an artist. She was a painter. She was an activist. She was a communist. She was a Trotskyist. She was an adventurer. She was Diego Rivera’s wife. She was a visionnare. She was modern. She smoked… and so on. No one explains her saying “Frida was a disabled woman”.
As I was curious about the material objects I entered the web of the Frida Kahlo museum and there it is! An exhibition with all her dresses is being showed untill 2018. In words of Circe Henestrosa, “The central tesis of this exhibition explores the artist’s identity, expressed through the powerfull image she built with the garments that she choosed.”
Also in London, I could see for my first time, Rebecca Horn’s early works, in wich she explored the relation of body with strange prothesis as long long fingers, face feather wings, large fabric and foldable wings, a crayons mask, and so on. The contact between a person and its environment happenend to be the main idea, as the Tate page explains,coming from a period of time that she had to spend in hospital. This woman in not disabled at all, but she wants to feel what it is like when the body lacks some ability.
In her films she performs with all this sculptural prothesis she invents, forcing herself to feel through them.
I wonder what would Frida have thought of them…
Their objects remain after them and even look to me similar. They are like organs lying independent to them, having the artists let them behind in a spot of their lifes. And yet this objects work as an statement.
May this two artists have started the research about the boundaries of “me” and “body”? Where does “me” start and finish, and what is “weared” and what is “incorporated”? And so the flexibility towards new ways of “me” , how can “I” reshape”me”…
The starting point it seems to me different, yet. Frida builds her new “she” after what sadly remains of her from the accidents, driving the attention towards the grace of her soul, while Horn shows her altered body, driving us to the form. She wants us to imagine how it could feel having our own shape altered.
Museo Frida Kahlo : “Las apariencias engañan” Temporary exhibition