banner image
Home Events News Gallery Publications kiosk About Links search

The High Street Project, Christchurch
April 11 - May 3, 1997

"it goes . . . Violet California . . . okay?Violet Cal - a - forn - i - a" and "DOORAG: DRUMS, ROCK CRITICISM, TROUBLE SHOOTING- LADIES' HAIRSTYLE CONSULTANCY"

And together . . . Violet "California" Faigan and Duane "Doorag" Zarakov present(ed) Codename: Frida . . . culminating snaps, memoirs, art and rock into a whimsical brother-sister duet featuring records, singing shoes and lots more.

This oddly seductive low-fi aesthetic resonates Is's and Was's with a touch of dreamscape, rockscape, teenscape, (e)scape delicately laced with nightmare . . . knock me down on the lawn, . . . they twisted my arm, stuck grass in my face . . . An echoing of a sometimes broken soundtrack leaves a kind of hollow reminiscence . . . I was following this girl there, or she was following me, and it felt like the movies . . . setting the 'scene' for a rock reply to the late 'art on rock' fashion using a gallery space (dust).

Duane's eclectic collections of highly personalised texts images and musings 'sprawling aimlessly across the gallery wall' (as Warren Feeney so aptly put it) forms an index of, and context for Codename: Frida . . . witty, self conscious, self aware, a little bit awkward . . . somehow mirroring an 'aimless sprawl' of teen culture, rockworlds and self(s) in a constant state of reflection, dissection and parody.

In fanmail, funmail, odes to a rockstar rockworld, compliments to 'Violet Cal-a-forn-i-a', it is written my dear violet, on september 18, 1970 i will die. you will enter this world, you will be left handed, you will be black, i must die now.-jimi hendrix. Offset by the prominent speech bubble announcement of Patti Smith "YOUR SHOW SUX DOORAG" there lingers the ambience of, and clever jabs at, a "generation X" discredited 'buy darts' . . . and quite possibly Art. This angst-humour analysis is reminiscent of ironic-self-analysis of past-present youth/Rock/Punk cultures such as X-Ray Spex (mentioned in Duane's dairy excerpts) who sing of a 'germ free adolescence . . . scrub away, scrub away, scrub away . . . '

Self consciously aware and time wary (as opposed to Warren Feeney's recent description of 'timeworn'), Codename: Frida becomes much much more than a mere shrine to 60's and 70's pop culture. It 'becomes' art as a kind of rock analysis of rock culture: not just a dead fashionable rock aesthetic but a comment on it, from within rather than the usual without.

you are great !! I love your music, especially your singing, you sound like Patti Smith. You look like Drew Barrymore, but prettier

Love Jad Fair

P.S. You're Beautiful

Sarah Mitchell
10 May 1997