- Vol. 04
- Chapter 04
Image by National Museum of Denmark
UNIQUEAt first we thought it was a bravura performance to attract the growing audience with an unusual contortion display. I stood silently watching, trying to imagine how the lady's face must feel; squashed as it were to one side. Joseph whispered to me. 'How does she keep her balance? She's not even standing on her head. Her limbs look so curved, awkward, as though her trousers have been pulled into place by another person'.
'Also her hands', I whispered in return. 'how does she keep them in position?'
There were murmurs from the crowd. they seemed perplexed too. One elderly lady was led away in tears.
The backdrop to the tableau was a silkscreen of muted flowers. Somehow, the extraordinary female blended into the colour scheme, with her arms covered in folded stripes of nondescript material. Only her dusky pink legwear was slightly different, with a sliver of tummy flesh showing.
If she had been placed in position she showed no discomfort, made no noise, simply laying on a piece of cloth. I wanted to know her thoughts, inscrutable and private, they surely were.
There was no donation point and nobody moved towards her, almost a feeling of reverence or respect, I felt.Joseph squeezed my hand.'Let's go', he muttered, 'this is unnerving. I want to understand, but I don't. The situation is strange. She has been here too long'.
Reluctantly, I left the mysterious woman, with the white feet and face and flower in her hair and we walked home in mutual bewilderment.