August 06, 2008

Pasión por Frida @ Saturday’s MAPP

Music, dance, performance, crafts projects, art exhibitions, poetry readings, last Saturday’s Kahlo-themed MAPP free-for-all evening started with René Yañez’s: Pasión por Frida Frida Kahlo lookalike contest at Galería De la Raza, which meant the rest of the night you were running into Fridas all over the place. I admit I liked the boy-drag-Frida(s) best:

But of course there were many beautiful others:

Megan Brian described the audition: “At 5:30pm the doors of the Galeria opened and Fridas came streaming in. The diversity of Fridas was clear: all ages, races and genders seem to identify with her. Applicants ranged from a child welfare worker to artists. One applicant who came in drag said the motivation to dress up as Frida is that she is “fierce and ruling!” Others noted her as role model: a strong woman who embodied a passion for life mixed with pain, love and a sense of urgency. One applicant wrote that she was here “because we are all Frida”; another simply signed her application form with a kiss. René Yañez said he was not looking for person who looks just like Frida, but rather a Frida that emanates a feeling and captures peoples’ hearts.

After about an hour of portrait-taking and auditionee interviews, Nidhi Singh took the stage. Singh (with self-described inner “techno-global-India Frida that needs to be expressed,” performed first as traditional Frida, in iconic garb, delivering witticisms to the crowd. Then she removed her flowing skirt and added a blazer, proceeding to cut off her long black hair by the fistful, all the while staring straight at the audience with a challenging look in her eyes.” (Flickr sequence of the whole performance here.)

And, wow. Violeta Luna’s Embedded Frida? Aimee Friberg (who took all the photos you see here) adjectivized her best: a tantalizing, suffering/pleasuring Frida, embedded and processional through the streets of the Mission. Four performance stops, each more fantastic than the last:

The crowds? Everywhere along the way, it was like this:

And then there was the whole Tony-Labat-in-the-back-of-the-Rolls situation:

(he was handing out ‘want ads’ for his upcoming SFMOMA I WANT YOU project)

Congratulations, and thanks, to the MAPP, Violeta, Rene, Tony, Frank, the Red Poppy Art House, and all the many Fridas and artists and onlookers along the way.

(all photos: Aimee Nicole Friberg. Her superb MAPP Flickr set here.)

Comments (13)

  • The silence on Simon is deafening.

  • Does the museum have a response to the Simon Blint interaction with Thomas Hawk? Or will there be a blog posting on this topic?

  • Dan, you are incorrect in one respect. The conversation has not “politely confined itself.” The conversation is all over the place (check the mentions of “sf moma” on FriendFeed, for example).

    What is more, SF MoMA’s silence on the issue has allowed others to come to its defense, including people such as Michael Crook (his “defense” of SF MoMA is not available at the moment; apparently his site was hacked). If SF MoMA chooses to remain silent, then “defenses” such as Crook’s will be among the few that are available online. Or perhaps Crook is SF MoMA’s designated spokesperson on this topic. 🙂

  • Fire Simon Blint!

  • “like to keep the comment stream open and uncensored, but that shouldn’t mean any grievance, legitimate or not, should be aired here. Please keep your comments on-topic, and thanks so much!”

    Suzanne, since SFMOMA seems keen on ignoring their policies when it’s convenient, I don’t understand why I’m not allowed to do the same. You must understand that this issue isn’t simply going to go away or politely confine itself until you folks are ready to discuss it, and the longer your organization waits, the more damage shall be done to its reputation.

  • Suzanne:

    Where is the topic for us to post questions about the incident we’re interested in? you say keep it on topic, and I agree, but where do we discuss the topic in question? Your blog seems to have just one topic, clearly unrelated to the Simon Blint foolishness, but how doe we, the public, address this issue to you, the Museum? This blog seems like the right place, but how?

  • Ralph Aichinger says:

    Aargh .. scratch “photographers” out in the last line.

  • Suzanne: Thanks for this post! While I agree that it seems off-topic here, will the SFMOMA (or you as its official blogger) put up a blog post clarifying either the museum’s policy regarding photography or the facts of this whole Blint business? You just haveto google to see, that this story is all over the internet, and will be linked to the SFMOMA probably forever.

    Also I do find it ironic, that you call this blog “open space” when it is either policy or misguided decision by individual employees, to throw people out photographers like this. Sorry for occupying this open space in an off-topic fashion 😉

  • Hi, this is Suzanne, I run the SFMOMA blog, and I’d like to say, to those of you posting comments here off-topic: I don’t know the scope of the complaints in either direction between Mr. Hawk and SFMOMA staff, so I can’t weigh in on what happened between the two parties. I like to keep the comment stream open and uncensored, but that shouldn’t mean any grievance, legitimate or not, should be aired here. Please keep your comments on-topic, and thanks so much! Yours, SS

  • Haywood Jablaume says:

    “To Do” List for Neal Benezra, Monday Morning:

    1. Cal Simon Blint into office, explain new policy on photos to him in small, monosyllabic words.
    2. Explain to Blint that it is much better to interact with the public minus the asshole attitude.
    3. Issue public apology to Thomas Hawk before this thing gets any worse / more embarrassing.
    4. Three-martini lunch.


  • I hope you are aware of this.

    I will not be frequenting your museum again until I find out Mr Simon Blint has been fired.

  • so sorry i missed this. thanks for the pics tho–do you have any of frida in drag f to m?

See all responses (13)
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