I love Rita Hayworth. She embodies the ineluctable allure, fragility and tragedy of mythical figures. Behind the indelible, flaming-haired beauty, there was the customary compromise of Old Hollywood, a complex life and enormous sadness. That's not her singing above, btw - it's China Forbes of Pink Martini, who performed in Massey Hall last week.
Rita Hayworth is the mother of Princess Yasmine Aly Agha Khan, President of the Alzheimer's Disease International foundation, and a board member of the Aga Khan Foundation.
On a dreary, wet afternoon in Ras-Beirut - the spiritual Manhattan of Lebanon - I found a small exhibit of one (European? American?) artist's hommage to Hayworth. This was more decorative art than anything else, a series of huge paintings of her stunning face, à la Warhol. I tend to forget a lot of things, but I remember how shy and anxious I was that afternoon, when all I wanted was to sit there and look, and how both the elegant, pretty-blonde of a gallery owner and the smiling moustached artist thought it was all too cute - an awkward kid in love with the idea of art. Haha. What I was in love with then was Old Hollywood and chimerical creatures. I was a teenager who spoke and thought mostly in French and Arabic, and was imbibing the French's love affair with all things mythically American - jazz, musicals, diners and Edward Hopper.
I still love myths. More precisely, I love the exploration of myths - the various myths that provide the self-delusion that drives our lives. Self-delusion is pervasive, individual and collective. Sometimes, it's a good thing (a spoonful of Nutella eaten directly from the jar has zero calories), sometimes not so much (war equals liberty, and the "greed -for lack of a better word- is good" school of ethics).
One myth I never want to see dissipate is this one, which blends (a little) fantasy with reality. Blogging has brought out some of my self-delusions to the surface as well as a lot of self-actualization. Wait, don't go yet, I'm not diving into (a shallow pool of) psychobabble with this. Be patient, this is entitled Random Thoughts after all. Blogging as a path to self-discovery - a tired exposé that we've read and written about ad nauseum. But it's true. I like to pretend I can do this blogging thing with impunity, but I can't. There's a price to pay - can't hide from my own self-created myths.
Ms. High-Falutin' Intellectual once told me, "If you write it, they will come. If you don't ramble on, they will come back (or stay - I forget which)". So I will stop right here, and get back to intransingent realities like peanut butter sandwiches that need to be whipped up and tears of frustration that need to be kissed away.
B21 Gallery is pleased to announce its participation in the second Creek Art Fair at Bastakiya from the 15th to the 31st of March. B21’s house will feature photography, video and an installation by Lebanese artist Nadine Kanso, and the work of Belgian sculptor Arnaud Rivieren.
In her exhibition, ‘Fi al Qalb’ (In the Heart), Kanso seeks to expose the troubled character of her cherished Beirut - often masked today by the cosmopolitan buzz of the city - through a presentation of her own black and white photography, accompanied by the lyrical musings of poet Nizar Qabbani*.
Rivieren’s three giant stainless steel pears on display in the courtyard of XVA reflect the artists unique approach to the rough medium of steel, which he recovers from the scrap heaps and steelyards of the UAE and transforms into elegant interpretations of the everyday objects.
Please join us for the Creek Art Fair vernissage on Saturday, the 15th, from 7pm. E-Flyers containing additional information can be found below.
Posted by Rima at 11.3.08