Monday, January 13, 2014
The Be Be Finale of Lesbianism
Role of the Punk
I recently saw a post online which featured the women that JFK may have had an affair, Marle Dietrich among them. It occurred to me that there were certain women in art who may have allegedly had affairs with other women as in Frida Kahlo and Georgia Okeefe or any number of women with Dora Maar. History supposes this and they are certainly unproven but as much as I'm not prone to women on women sexual fantasies, the idea of Frida Kahlo and Georgia OKeefe as lovers overwhelms me. They are at first androgynous whether its OKeefe under the guide of Steiglitz in those portrait photographs or the famous stoic and yet eloquently represented images of Frida.
What is it at first that excites me the most? Fair to say I endearingly love Frida Kahlo and Georgia OKeefe as artists. They exemplify love or more so amour. There is that presence of lust in them. Lust for life and lust in art. The portraits of them as androgynous draws them together. They resemble each other, gaunt and thin with chisled faces.
I think of Frida and her committment to Diego Riviera, Georgia and her love affair with Stieglitz. These are two women in history who are remembered for their exclusive relationships with two powerful and overwhelming men. Their lives certainly collide if not for love and art then their conscience as feminists. History will also remember them as two women who overcame the empowerment from men to find their own unique identities.
Circumstances surrounding them will suggest the male fantasy or the female lesbian. What allows the male to want the fantasy of two women mating? Where in history does art possess this? I certainly came upon this in the hot 1990's through pornography. There were the exceptions of the butch and the lipstic lover, blonde vixens with brunnette pubis and the super models with perfect bodies.
The butch and the lipstick lover stemmed from punk for me. In 93' I met an Israeli video artist at a Kathy Acker reading at The Kitchen in Chelsea. Kathy almost exemplified the look of a butch and a lipstick lover in one. By nature her face was soft with ruby lips. But her skin was tough and she had a hard exterior. She was punk. In a white gown much could have been said about her femininity. Kathy was prone to apocalyptic literary prose. Much of this could be associated to a male ego, something similar to Patti Smith and her love for the male hero.
The punk is androgynous. He or she manifests an alternative nature. It is not the artist that is punk. It is the nature of the artist.
My Israeli friend and I would meet occasionaly at her residence on Christopher street. We were drawn to each other by philosophy and flesh as our discussions and trip to movies led to splendour in her bedroom. There was a mutual attraction built on love and respect, respect for each other as artists.
There's a notable translation within this. What of our backgrounds as an Israeli and an African? Were there broader examples which brought us together. I had a sense of her as a tremendous talent. It was abvious in her silence as I watched her, grew fond of her. What is intelligence is that which is less spoken and is sensed in the quieter moments. I admired her girth, her body. Her flesh. Her flesh had body. And so it was this the combination of philosophy and love that which we built an understanding.
We engaged in mostly soft foreplay when we met. It became the regimen for our playfulness, quite moments in her bedroom on Christopher Street. I grew in intensity getting to know her friends, other Israelis. I was growing within a society of Israelis, a common understanding of what is love and respect. Our interactions were based on kinship and my role as perculiar and idle from the mainstream. I was more or less a wanderer who had fell into company with them.
On her birthday we made an attempt at love making at my apartment. It was uninvolved and uninspired. We were basically going through the motions. It was not our bodies that were communicating but our strained minds. It was yet another expression of us not represented as lovers but as friends. Passion never existed between us. It was the mutual respect for our flesh, the conventional flesh.
Time passed and I recieved a letter that she had become lesbian. She found a woman she was in love. My first reaction was that I had caused her to be lesbian. It was my fault. My inability to bring a rise out of her caused her to change. But it wasn't that. In retrospect I know now what is a friend and what is a lover. Somewhere inbetween an attempt is made to merge the two. She had become lesbian while traveling through Europe.
This again was the hot 90's. Fetishizing was common. I grew to understand it was a momentous phase. I met the female lover. There they were kissing, holding hands in my presence. I grew accustomed to them. That was the great ideal of us being friends. She respected me enough to introduce me to her girlfriend.
This is nowhere near why women are lesbians. Jenny Shimizu and Michelle Harper are a couple. Jenny knew from the beginning she was lesbian. She felt unattracted to boys. My Israeli friend and I bonded as male and female. Perhaps there was not a sexual attraction as on one evening out she came onto a stranger who was less a friend and more of an acquaintance, letting me know she was physically attracted to him.
A night which explained how the lover loves with his body and how he attempts to with his mind. Sex is of the body. It is not imagined. It is expressed. It's a physical act. My friend had found a physical means to express her love for another woman.
In examining the lesbian, I admire her. Not sure if its her attempt at success in a male driven world, her role as feminist, my respect for the woman due to the role my mother played in my life. There is a common interest between us, the lesbian and me. I have had friends who were lesbians. It was clear there was no physical attraction but on one instance an attempt was made at sex. It's my ability to provoke, bring about enlightenment where there is none.
Jenny Shimizu is lesbian to me. I have known women who fetishized lesbianism.
To be female and want to be with another woman. To be female and identify yourself with women.
To be lesbian is the finale.