House party! As we entered the house my friends seemed to melt into the colourful crowd of over-dressed and under-weared party-goers. This was the 80’s. The house awash with colour, exotic make-up and loud loud underwear. I made my way towards the kitchen in search of alcohol to mellow the noisey tones. A crowd had gathered around the doorway and against the kitchen counters. In a large arc with the fridge, and Burnel, at it’s apex.
Burnel, simultaneously beside, around, and on top of the fridge. Wearing his performance persona. At first I didn’t recognize him. The imaccualte make-up, tight fitting black leather trousers wrapping themselves around and over the fridge, the cape gently obeying the movements of his body. Girls giggled. Boys smirked. Gradually they lost interest and dispersed into the main rooms of the party.
I stood riveted to the scene. To me a fridge is cold, angular, almost definitively unsensuous. Yet here, with his own movements, Burnel managed to imbue the fridge with a delicate coquetishness. It was clearly desirable. He may have acknowledged my presence with a glance, I may have said ‘hello’. It’s unlikely. The fridge was undoubtedly recieving his undivided attention and I certainly didn’t want to break the unique experience he was building. I suspect I remained in the kitchen watching him for the duration of the performance. I certainly pondered on that philosophically fundamental question
‘what is it like to be a fridge?‘
Several months later on a nightclub dancefloor I found the answer. Burnel spontaneously mistook me for a fridge. My compressor promptly broke, resulting in giggle fits and an unceremonious dash to the shadows for emotional repairs.
How appropriate that a picture of Burnel now clings to my fridge.