Frida: The Last Portrait

Donna Blue Lachman performs a one-woman show as Frida Kahlo at the Blue Rider Theatre in Chicago.

0:10Copy video clip URL Lachman chats with audience members. Audience converses. Show does not seem to have begun.

1:23Copy video clip URL Lachman (as Frida) walks over to opposite side of room. She is in character. Asks members of audience what they would like to talk about. Music (flute) plays in background.

3:13Copy video clip URL Limping. Someone takes photo of Lachman. She responds, “You just took a picture of my soul.”

4:04Copy video clip URL Music ends. Describes aims of retrospective: Gossip, to look at paintings, but doubts whether her self-portraits amount to any value for others.

5:45Copy video clip URL Origin story of her limp. Bus accident changed the way she saw the whole world. Kept her in bed for a year. “If it wasn’t for Christina…I think I would have bit the dust.”

10:00Copy video clip URL Pours herself and an audience member a glass of wine. Describes her genealogy and the biographical info of father and mother. Ruminates about the subject of her paintings (people) and death. Hands audience glass of wine: “It is real.”

12:27Copy video clip URL “I am obsessed with blood.” Refers back to the bus accident that nearly left her lame. “Every drop of blood tells the whole story of our ancestry.”

13:31Copy video clip URL Story about a miscarriage, being in the hospital, and requesting from the doctor a still-born fetus so as to “understand its form.”

16:30Copy video clip URL Anecdote about sitting next to Henry Ford at a dinner party, pushing the buttons of Ford, an alleged anti-Semite.

18:40Copy video clip URL Anecdote about a “flower in a garbage dump”–a beautiful woman in “Gringoland,” Dorothy, who killed herself after a dinner party and the subsequent portrait Kahlo did of her.

20:20Copy video clip URL Soliloquy about the Mexican people and land accompanied by music.

23:00Copy video clip URL Anecdotes about interaction with Paris and the Surrealists, including a conversation about her sex life with Salvador Dali. Laments lack of Parisian artists’ political consciousness. Unwilling to “label” Diego Rivera as husband, boyfriend. etc.

27:22Copy video clip URL Hands out genitalia-shaped cookies to audience. “These breasts remind me of Diego’s breasts.” They are “a tribute to Diego.” Describes her and Rivera’s various affairs, her bisexuality, and facial hair.

31:45Copy video clip URL Talks about divorcing Rivera for seducing her sister, Christina, and cutting off her own (Frida’s) hair in response.

34:10Copy video clip URL Conversational tone shifts, lights dim, red spot on Kahlo, brings her hair down.

35:06Copy video clip URL Camera pans to self-portrait hung in background. Pans back to Kahlo who is still taking her hair down, teasing it out, and putting on make-up. Music accompanies.

38:11Copy video clip URL Lights come back up on Kahlo, she lights a cigarette. Asks herself, “Why did you remarry such a… repulsive frog of a man…?” Ruminates about love.

42:33Copy video clip URL She removes her jacket, exposing her bare shoulders. “I have tried so many times in my life to give birth. And each time I came so close to death. I lost three children. They ran through my legs. But the painting–the painting has been the tool of my survival.” Removes earrings. Puts on a different pair with the moon and sun. “I don’t want death telling me what time it is. But you never know when it will end. Only that it will end…Dying is easy. It is the suffering we are most afraid of, no?”

47:23Copy video clip URL She addresses an audience member and asks the audience member to remind her to tell her sister “Muy gracias.” Talks about the “pieces” of life.

50:00Copy video clip URL Removes her prosthetic leg: “This piece made me whole.”

54:14Copy video clip URL After a monologue about dreams and painting, Kahlo walks to back of stage, looks up at portrait, and throws a ball of sparks into the air, ending the play. Applause.

54:44Copy video clip URL Bows on stage.

54:32Copy video clip URL End of tape.

 

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