Posts Tagged ‘Tequila’

Nini Bennett. Frida Kahlo: uit binnekamers en briewe

Monday, January 21st, 2019

 

Die Meksikaanse kunstenaar Frida Kahlo se werk kan beskryf word as intiem, dog konfronterend; teer, dog realisties; vurig, dog melankolies. Kahlo (6 Julie 1907–13 Julie 1954) word onthou as een van die mees merkaardige kultuurikone van die twintigste eeu. Afgesien van die 143 skilderye en ander artefakte in haar museum-huis in Meksikostad, lewer sy ook ’n literêre bydrae. Dit behels dagboekinskrywings en briewe wat gebundel is en as The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait uitgegee is.

As kind het Kahlo polio gehad, met die gevolg dat haar regterbeen misvorm was. Sy het hierdie inperking verdoesel deur helderkleurige rompe te dra. ’n Dekade later tref die volgende ramp Kahlo: sy het skaars ingeskryf as mediese student aan die gesogte Preparatoria School toe ’n busongeluk sy tol eis. ’n Metaalreling het haar uterus deurboor, ’n insident wat gelei het tot veelvoudige inwendige beserings en frakture dwarsoor haar liggaam. Na ‘n paar maande in die hospitaal het sy met moeite van voor af leer loop en geweldige pyn verduur. Tydens haar leeftyd is Kahlo meer as 35 keer geopereer. Met die eerste herstelfase, direk ná die ongeluk, het haar vader ’n spieël bo haar hospitaalbed gemonteer en vir haar ’n esel en verfkwaste gebring om haar aandag weg te lei van die trauma. Die kunstenaar, wat as kind laas geteken het, het spoedig haar talent (her-)ontdek. Sy was groot dele van haar lewe bedlêend en 55 van haar skilderye is selfportrette: sy het die subjek van haar eie alleenwees en pyn geword.

Ten spyte van ernstige terugvalle van depressie was Kahlo uitbundig en lief vir die lewe, ’n dualisme wat ook sigbaar is in haar werk. Sy het met oorgawe partytjie gehou, gerook soos ’n skoorsteen en vurige verhoudings met mans, sowel as vroue aangeknoop. In 1929 het sy die gevierde Meksikaanse kunstenaar, Diego Rivera ontmoet; op sy beurt ’n ikoon wat sy vir jare in die geheim bewonder het. Diego se rol in haar lewe het vinnig verwissel van mentor na minnaar en ten spyte van haar moeder se waarskuwings is Kahlo en Rivera twee jaar later getroud. Die egpaar het dieselfde hartstogtelike geloof in die Marxistiese Rewolusie gedeel en was aktiewe lede van die Meksikaanse Kommunistiese Party. Maar Rivera – twintig jaar ouer as Kahlo – was jaloers, dominerend en ontrou aan sy vrou. Kahlo, op haar beurt, het egter nie op haar laat wag nie en affairs aangeknoop met onder meer die sangeres, Josephine Baker, die Russiese Marxis, Leon Trotsky, en die Meksikaanse sangeres, Chavela Vargas.

Die bose siklus van liggaamlike en emosionele pyn het Kahlo se gebruik van selfmedikasie, ’n kombinasie van sterk pynstillers en Tequila, gesneller. Dit was die kunstenaar se droom om kinders van haar eie te hê, maar al drie haar swangerskappe moes noodgedwonge beëindig word as gevolg van die skade aan haar uterus. Sy het op 47-jarige ouderdom selfmoord gepleeg. In “Die goeie vrou en ander mites” beskryf Corlia Fourie Kahlo se lyding só:

 

Frida Kahlo

 

Jou been,

jou voet,

jou bekken,

gebreek

in ’n rampstamp

busrit.

 

Toe het jy jou

hele lyf

soos ’n ui afgeskil:

eers die klere,

toe die sappige

seer vleis,

laag op laag,

het die mes

dieper

en dieper

ingesny.

 

Toe die skywe

op doek na doek

uitgestal:

die bekken,

die baarmoeder,

die niere,

die hart,

die verminkte voet,

die liggaam deurboor

van pyle,

die oog wat nie wyk, wat skreeu:

kyk,

kýk.

 

Frida Kahlo het met haar skilderye dikwels na Meksiko se vroeë Asteekse en Maya-kuns verwys, en daarnaas ook fasette van die Europese kunsgeskiedenis gereflekteer. Haar werk is ’n bemoeienis met indringende sosiale en politieke kwelvrae. In Kahlo se dagboek is dit egter die besonder intense en poëtiese kwaliteit van haar briewe aan Diego Rivera wat opval. Hierdie gefragmenteerde prosa en poësie bevat geen letterlike belewenisse nie; eerder ’n tipe liefdesliriek en hartstog, gebore uit vrye assosiasie en bewussynstroomstegniek.

Diego.

Truth is, so great, that I wouldn’t like to speak, or sleep, or listen, or love. To feel myself trapped, with no fear of blood, outside time and magic, within your own fear, and your great anguish, and within the very beating of your heart. All this madness, if I asked it of you, I know, in your silence, there would be only confusion. I ask you for violence, in the nonsense, and you, you give me grace, your light and your warmth. I’d like to paint you, but there are no colors, because there are so many, in my confusion, the tangible form of my great love.

F.

 

Diego:

Nothing compares to your hands, nothing like the green-gold of your eyes. My body is filled with you for days and days. you are the mirror of the night. the violent flash of lightning. the dampness of the earth. The hollow of your armpits is my shelter. my fingers touch your blood. All my joy is to feel life spring from your flower-fountain that mine keeps to fill all the paths of my nerves which are yours.

 Auxochrome — Chromophore. Diego.

 

She who wears the color.

He who sees the color.

Since the year 1922.

 

Until always and forever. Now in 1944. After all the hours lived through. The vectors continue in their original direction. Nothing stops them. With no more knowledge than live emotion. With no other wish than to go on until they meet. Slowly. With great unease, but with the certainty that all is guided by the “golden section.” There is cellular arrangement. There is movement. There is light. All centers are the same. Folly doesn’t exist. We are the same as we were and as we will be. Not counting on idiotic destiny.

 

 

My Diego:

Mirror of the night

Your eyes green swords inside my flesh. waves between our hands.

All of you in a space full of sounds — in the shade and in the light. You were called AUXOCHROME the one who captures color. I CHROMOPHORE — the one who gives color.

You are all the combinations of numbers. life. My wish is to understand lines form shades movement. You fulfill and I receive. Your word travels the entirety of space and reaches my cells which are my stars then goes to yours which are my light.

 

 

Auxochrome — Chromophore

It was the thirst of many years restrained in our body. Chained words which we could not say except on the lips of dreams. Everything was surrounded by the green miracle of the landscape of your body. Upon your form, the lashes of the flowers responded to my touch, the murmur of streams. There was all manner of fruits in the juice of your lips, the blood of the pomegranate, the horizon of the mammee and the purified pineapple. I pressed you against my breast and the prodigy of your form penetrated all my blood through the tips of my fingers. Smell of oak essence, memories of walnut, green breath of ash tree. Horizon and landscapes = I traced them with a kiss. Oblivion of words will form the exact language for understanding the glances of our closed eyes. = You are here, intangible and you are all the universe which I shape into the space of my room. Your absence springs trembling in the ticking of the clock, in the pulse of light; you breathe through the mirror. From you to my hands, I caress your entire body, and I am with you for a minute and I am with myself for a moment. And my blood is the miracle which runs in the vessels of the air from my heart to yours.

The green miracle of the landscape of my body becomes in your the whole of nature. I fly through it to caress the rounded hills with my fingertips, my hands sink into the shadowy valleys in an urge to possess and I’m enveloped in the embrace of gentle branches, green and cool. I penetrate the sex of the whole earth, her heat chars me and my entire body is rubbed by the freshness of the tender leaves. Their dew is the sweat of an ever-new lover.

It’s not love, or tenderness, or affection, it’s life itself, my life, that I found what I saw it in your hands, in your month and in your breasts. I have the taste of almonds from your lips in my mouth. Our worlds have never gone outside. Only one mountain can know the core of another mountain.

Your presence floats for a moment or two as if wrapping my whole being in an anxious wait for the morning. I notice that I’m with you. At that instant still full of sensations, my hands are sunk in oranges, and my body feels surrounded by your arms.

 

 

For my Diego

the silent life giver of worlds, what is most important is the nonillusion. morning breaks, the friendly reds, the big blues, hands full of leaves, noisy birds, fingers in the hair, pigeons’ nests a rare understanding of human struggle simplicity of the senseless song the folly of the wind in my heart = don’t let them rhyme girl = sweet xocolatl [chocolate] of ancient Mexico, storm in the blood that comes in through the mouth — convulsion, omen, laughter and sheer teeth needles of pearl, for some gift on a seventh of July, I ask for it, I get it, I sing, sang, I’ll sing from now on our magic — love.

 

Met erkenning aan Barbara Crow De Toledo en Ricardo Pohlenz vir die vertaling van bostaande gedeeltes van Spaans na Engels.

 

Verwysings:

 

Fuentes, C. en Kahlo, F. 2005. The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait. Abradale Press.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frida_Kahlo

http://www.fridakahlofans.com/booksenglish.html

Fourie, C. 2018. Die goeie vrou en ander mites. Pretoria: Protea Boekhuis.