Theater of Cruelty

The other

It doesn't have to be Frida Kahlo or Simone de Beauvoir. You're not good enough anyway.


Travel to London. By October 9. A trip to the Frida Kahlo exhibition at Tate Modern should be mandatory. I was there on Sunday. It was a feminist revival journey.

Frida Kahlo's intense descriptions of pain stood out to me as illustrations of the main theme of feminism itself: Women do not have access to public life on the same terms as men. You can be as smart, smart and smart as you want. You don't get into the public's most reverent club yet. Not like anything but an attachment to your husband.

It's Satre year this year, and many have taken the opportunity to write about Sartre's theories of situational freedom. Few of the articles have mentioned his companion Simone de Beauvoir's texts about the same. It is neither accidental nor surprising that he quotes Norwegian newspapers almost twice as often as her. But it is an illustration of what she herself so wisely and aptly described about the situation as the other.

Beuvoir even put her own position as a philosopher a step behind the man she had a lifelong relationship with. It feels so strange, when the recognition of why so clearly present with her, and then of course especially in the main work that has become so many feminists' bible; The other sex. The book is the description of the times of how women because they are women are considered the other in any relationship. By a seemingly natural order, women are deprived of their humanity when denied the opportunity to have their experience regarded as universal. A woman's experience is always a woman's experience, a woman is always one female author, artist, craftsman or theorist. By describing his own life, Beauvoir made it personal politically.

Frida Kahlo said so even though there were two accidents that had affected her life. The first was the traffic accident that invalidated her and made the art her main activity. The other was Diego Rivera. From the time she was 21 and he 41, marriage marked her life so fundamentally that he, in the explicit or implicit way, is to be found in most of the images that today hang on Tate Modern.

Simone de Beauvoir was with him who was known as France's greatest philosopher. Frida Kahlo married him, who was then Mexico's greatest artist. Hun joined ham on long trips in the United States. She painted her own pictures while decorating the monumental buildings with frescoes if the Rockefeller Center has become his most famous. Frida Kahlo herself was a great artist, she broke with the conventions and she dressed in menswear. But she was also her husband's wife. The year after the wedding she painted the couple, in beautiful colors and with a dove with a message in her mouth hanging over. The pigeon is a well-known symbol of love. Sunday I stood in front of that picture for a long time.

The contrast of youth images in the rooms before, is great. On them Kahlo is a beautiful and tall woman with straight and long neck. When Frida Kahlo painted the bridal couple, she portrayed herself as a tiny little woman in traditional Mexican clothing. The head is slightly bent, both downward and towards the husband. She turns to the man and holds his hand over his. Rivera looks almost grotesque in proportion, her two feet roughly matching two of his toes. The big man is portrayed as we have so often seen Rembrandt and other painters who want to show their greatness; with the palette in your right hand. As his wife sees him, he is also easily turned away from her in all his greatness.

Frida Kahlo loved her husband, and while he cheated on her with a number of women, she cheated on him with both other women and men like Lev Trotsky. In particular, Rivera hurt her when he had a relationship with her sister. But this grief is barely visible in the pictures. The pain caused by Rivera is the pain when he is not there. And it is the pain of defining himself in relation to him.

I have myself been referred to and addressed as wife to. No one dares to introduce me anymore. Inspiration to fight my own struggles I get from those who have used their creatively. Hopefully the cultural structures are changing. Until then, it doesn't matter how amazingly smart, pretty or smart you are. It does not hold to be Simone de Beauvoir or Frida Kahlo. You stay anyway the other.

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