FAHRELNISSA ZEID @ TATE MODERN

💧 💃🏾  👓

ZM 25/6/17

I have been missing/radio silence for a few weeks now (nearly a month) and I am sorry friends. Gab has been a good collaborator. She covered for me while I was upstream; swallowing a sadness that never really landed. I am halfway happy now again. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to write through heartbreak n i don’t have to now. So here I am here I am; hope y’all missed me. I only mention this because I’ve been feeling The White Pube as a type of vlog. Like that format; here’s what i am filling my life with at the moment, and here it is pressing onto my relationship with art. I always say; when we are 70 looking back at this website, i hope it’ll be the same feeling i get when I think of my old piczo: ‘fuck, i was so young’. just like looking back at ur past self like she’s so different to me and alien but that was my body /// there’s a kinda of horror to that but i’ll let it slide. 

 

So I went to the Fahrelnissa Zeid show @ Tate Modern. This show was a proper PROPER retrospective. Her life stretched out over a couple of rooms. The art was like 50% of the show; the other half was my kinda romantic friend-infatuation with this worldie woman /// international woman of mystery. There’s something so romantic bout her life: daughter of at Ottoman family // wife of a diplomat // rich European salon life // painting for the love of it, my god that must have driven her // why else would she? // I wish that was my life: wearing expensive clothes, social and hard capital, bouncing around the world like a stateless bird. 

 

I’ll be honest, some of the work i wasn’t keen on. Some of it i could give or take. Others i zoomed in close; sweaty hands holding my phone wanting to remember this exact painting. That bumpiness and inconsistency kinda was the show. Every room felt like a different theme like ur in Fabric or like Egg or whatever. RnB room vibes n then top 40 EDM remixes the next. Some of the paintings are like tiptoeing into abstraction; some trust-fall into it completely. Some are weird alien figures cartoonish. It’s a jarring experience tbh so eclectic, i still am not quite sure if i was taken by it or not. Having said that,,,, it definitely left some kind of taste with me; sitting in my mouth like gum. There were a cluster of paintings that were just colour unbound. Like colour if colour was liquid seeping and spilling onto the floor;;; all swirling into one but sharply sharply crystallised. It made me feel something and for that i must stand up a bit straighter. Another (pic of both on right >>>) felt like a visual reference to that painting in blue of the boy holding a snake (the super orientalist one) (((googled it: it’s Gerome - the Snake charmer))) but the fact this was being retaken and mashed and by a Middle-Eastern/central asian Woman kinda make me smirk. I lingered and snickered. I love being that person - laughing to myself in a half-empty gallery space. ~v powerful~ ~ ~ ~

 

I think that feels like the show. I don’t have much to say about it; but i respect that it happened n I wana shout it out. More more more like this. I respect Zeid’s life as much (maybe more) than I enjoyed her paintings. And tbh i liked that feeling of going to a show and feeling comfortable in the room; that doesn’t happen often, not at the Tate Modern. (Maybe that was just bc it was a hot day and there was air con in the gallery lol). This show felt sticky though. Like when u open a packet of wine gums and all the flavours have melted into each other and it’s one sticky long lump. I think it would’ve been a better documentary. But i’m not mad. I enjoyed seeing that ~~~historicity~~~ embedded in a gallery. I actually like the way that bends. (i don’t go to many retrospectives, maybe i’m mostly infatuated with the format? idk, i can’t tell i can’t separate that so i have to just lay it all here). 

 

I think mostly I was sad I saw this show on my own. The whole time walking around my left hand dangled in the air next to me; i wish someone was holding it. The pace of this show was so moderato;; not allegretto // not too ambling. This is a Saturday afternoon with ur person. This is a got nowhere else to be, let’s pop our heads in. This is a we’ve got lunch plans nearby. I’m mad they charge for this show; it’d be so good if it was also free. Borrow ur mate’s aunt’s membership card; don’t pay (i didn’t) and when ur done go to the member’s cafe on the 5th floor and look over the river with ur person. I hope u buy a Coke bc they come in a glass bottle. I drank mine with a straw like I was in a Lana del Rey song. I sat out on a balcony and i felt the breeze while i typed this. It was a day with myself, but a small part of me wishes I had more than just the art for company. It wasn’t quite enough. It felt like going through a scrapbook or a box of old photos (i imagine most retrospectives normally do). The thing with that is, it’s never as funny or enjoyable when ur on ur own. 

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Fahrelnissa Zeid's retrospective is on @ Tate Modern until 8th October.

 

above ^^^^ painting by Zeid

below vvvv nonsense by Gerome