Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up

Traditional museum exhibitions have run their course. We are a multimedia 24/7 society, museums are stale institutions. Including a psychedelically lit corridor does not do it. There is more to life and art than meets the eye, writing snippets of a story on a wall is not it. Fighting for space to read that tiny piece of storytelling, in a sold-out exhibition, is definitely not it. The didactical approach has run its course. Frida Kahlo is more than her eyebrows. Bringing just a handful of her paintings to London is a poor excuse for an exhibition on Frida Kahlo. Screaming that she is very influential means nothing to most. Why is she such a revered figure? Where is her art? Her art is herself, this is what we are told. But that feels like selling Frida Kahlo unibrow costumes for carnival, (incidentally this is what you find online when you type her name). We have strived so hard to democratise...
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Keren Ann and Quatour Debussy Live

Keren Ann and Quatour Debussy Live

A minimalist concert, a string quartet accompanying Karen Ann and her guitar mainly electrified, sometimes acoustic. Sheer class and intense emotions. Sometimes the strings were trying to scream louder but soon the guitar would tell them who is boss. A tiny, figure dressed in black, a powerful smile, smooth melancholy melodies, lulling us safely towards our destination like a sailboat on a smooth, unsettling sea. Liquid music poured into our ears like honey poured from a smooth precious chalice. So many cultures connect in the creative mind of Keren Ann, she seems to make them universal through her art, smoothening differences, distilling them into what is a universal human experience. Her re-appropriation of her own Strange Weather, covered majestically by Anna Calvi together with an inspired David Byrne, brings goosebumps to my body. Her twangy guitar courts and duels with the strings, it plays and dances an ironical battle, her voice dominates her emotions and commands our attention, sweetly but firmly....
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Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra

Cleopatra is a modern hero and a drama queen. Shakespeare is claimed to be universal but many a times it just sounds anachronistic. The theatre, being a male dominated world throughout the centuries, rarely manages to portray a female character realistically, so it is no surprise that a play could never be conceived as the hagiography of any woman. Cleopatra is viewed as a highly volatile queen, who brings about Antony’s - her lover but most importantly one of the Roman triumvirate - inglorious defeat and eventual suicide. The story unfolding onstage is a tragedy, valiant people run into swords or die of broken heart, the majestic drama queen commits suicide offering her neck to a live snake on stage, the same snake claims the life of one of her ladies in waiting as well, by design, not by chance. To modern audiences this sounds like farce material. Despite or maybe because of the play’s shortcomings, I loved the ironically nuanced performance....
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