From The Issue: Peeping Ten, Zoe Bedeaux
I AM NOT YOUNG NOR AM I OLD
I CAN’T BE BOUGHT
YET I’M MARKED SOLD
I AM THE TRUTH
I AM THE TRUTH
BUT STILL I LIE
YOU HAVE THREE GUESSES WHAT AM I?
WHO AM I?
WHAT AM I?
I AM ANOTHER ONE JUST ANOTHER ONE OF YOURSELF
This is Zoe Bedeaux. She was the super-stylist who helped define the 1990s. But Bedeaux is also a creative shape-shifter – a cultural commentator, poet, multidisciplinary artist, fashion curator. Over the following pages, she welcomes us into her London home and introduces herself, in her own words.
Zoe provides an extraordinary portal from the banality of the obvious material world into a magical, mystical one. She is one of life’s conduits for learning and discovery,” says photographer Jez Tozer. “I wanted to try to capture her soul, not to steal it, as many cultures believe photography does, but to borrow it and represent it to share it. Clearly a ridiculous fantasy of a romantic creative! But what did happen naturally very quickly was that a light, brightness or a hot spot started appearing in every picture. You may say, ‘Well, obviously because you put it there,’ but we didn’t consciously and didn’t plan it for the series – it just happened.
“Some of these final images were mistakes, moments when I was focusing the camera and then accidentally fired the shutter or worse. Sometimes we have to accept that the universe has its plan and all you have to do is be present and enjoy the ride. I hope that, in some way, we have managed to capture, by hook or by crook, the light that is Zoe Bedeaux and that, in some way, her magic comes across in these pages.”
I get to know people through their stories not questions, so if this is about you getting to know me a little bit better, I will endeavour to tell you one of my stories. It is one from my book, a biography called In Search of the Dodo Bird, a limited- edition performance art book. My story is a personal journey, where my former spirit self, Vida de la Mort, and I collide. These past months, Vida has engulfed me, and Jez picked up on her straightaway for this story through his use of light.
Vida de la Mort was brought to me in 2013 by accident, if there is such a thing, by a woman called Tousa Le Monde. It was she who reintroduced me to me! She claimed to be a very good friend of Vida, and her mission, she said, was to return my book of stories and poetry back to me, which she did in the most extraordinary way.
When Tousa described Vida, she would always speak of her light and how no one could capture her on film. She said she would appear to be there physically, but she was energetically elsewhere, which somehow interfered with her physical manifestation and meant that Vida’s physical image could not be captured on film. Her spirit, however, would be captured as a ball of light. Man Ray, who was a great friend, tried to take a portrait of her and that photograph still exists, yet is wrongly archived as one of his rayographs due to this anomaly.
Due to the field of light that surrounded Vida, it made it impossible to fathom her age. In this incarnation, too, people struggle with my age, wanting to know my secret.
“For me, time has no meaning. How can you be touched by something you don’t believe in?”
As a child, semantic satiation (the repetition of a word) was my gateway to other realms. The word “trouser” was repeated over and over again until I became invisible. In this form I would enter all manner of things to feel what it was like to become them. Flowers, plants, trees and stones were my favourites, their field of intelligence being so vast and infinite. It was in this invisible form that the secret life of nature was revealed to me. “Everything has an energy, animate or inanimate, everything around us is alive!”
A passage from In Search of the Dodo Bird. These extracts were taken from Tousa’s Memoirs, which contained stories of Vida.
Tousa: “You said those who are burnt bythesunglow?…Youareyettobe burnt by the sun, still you glow?”
Vida: “I glow because I am conceived by light. I meditate on light and light comes through me. Like this I see beyond all time.”
In 1876, Émile Boirac wrote about déjà vu, a sensation of feeling like you have already experienced the present. Déjà vu is the experience you have in the present when your light bodies are moving so fast in front of you they are touching the future. As they move forwards and backwards in time, your light bodies impact your physical form. You have a feeling of recognition because a part of you has already had experience of the future.
Precognition works in the same way. We carry the secrets of tomorrow deep in our subconscious. Those who are sensitive to these vibrations receive these transmissions more frequently. This phenomenon is happening all the time and remains unexplained. In time these truths shall be known. It’s hard to conceive, but it’s true. The body is split yet still connected.
Vida wrote on a piece of paper and handed it to me.
What my light body sees
Moving in front of me
Forwards and backwards in time I’m dead already
We’re dead already.
Vida: “I am already aware of and in touch with my future self. Dead and alive at the same time. It’s a paradox, I know, but life is just that. Three men will collectively propose a theory a few years from now that encapsulates these principles. It will only be used to explain knowledge of phenomena. It will not be applied to reality itself but it is a reflection of reality itself! We are mirrors of the microscopic world. In the future, the greatest challenge for science will be the acceptance of magic and the metaphysical realms that surround us, which are constantly being dismissed because they are not quantifiable. Our eyes are our greatest deceivers. We rely too much on what we see. In the end the truth will be revealed in what we do not.”
Tousa: “How can I be dead and alive at the same time? It doesn’t make sense.”
Vida: “Nothing makes sense.” Then she whispered into my ear… St John of the Cross says:
He who truly arrives there
cuts free from himself;
all that he knew before
now seems worthless,
and his knowledge so soars
that he is left in unknowing transcending all knowledge…
I will be performing In Search of the Dodo Bird throughout 2018. Come! Until we meet again. Zx
Check my Instagram for dates of In Search of the Dodo Bird. My film From the Mouth of Babes Speak I, filmed by Jez Tozer, can be seen on Vimeo
Photographer Jez Tozer
Text Zoe Bedeaux
Make-up Janeen Witherspoon using Charlotte Tilbury
Fashion Assistant Joel Traptow
Taken from Issue 60 of 10 Magazine, ALAÏA SHIFT POWER NEW, on newsstands now.