Saturday, July 10, 2010
The scent of jasmine reminds me of what summertime is in London, when I walk down Gilstpur St, in the middle of the city, on Friday at 5 pm.
The scent of jasmine grows stronger in the hottest hours of the day, when at the other end of Gilstspur St the butchers of Smithfield Market close their stinky trade. It is a covered market built in the second half of the 19 century in the space (a smooth field) where the livestock used to roam, just outside the London wall.
The jasmine grows on the walls of St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, the parish church which used to toll its bells for the death sentenced staying at the Old Bailey across the road.
"When will you pay me?" say the Bells of Bailey
"When I grow rich" say the Bells of Shoreditch
Here comes a Candle to light you to Bed
Here comes a Chopper to Chop off your Head
What is a body without head? It is a body without identity. But it is not a body that rests in peace. Many are the tales of beheaded knights who return to this world to claim their head back. Even more are the tales of modern men in integralist countries who lost their eyes to see beauty, lost their mouth to speak the truth and even lost their nose to smell a rose.
To which lengths would you go to smell a rose?
Dead flesh and the scent of flowers in the golden afternoon near the London Wall.
In Giltspur St, where the jasmine tries to cover the stanch of dead animals. It is not like in a cemetery, where we lay the flowers to remember our beloved.
It is dead bodies that return to us beheaded and dismembered, and it is bleeding flowers who look at us as giant mouths from the canvas of London-based Iranian painter Kiky.