The pictures were produced in Ibiza in the seventies. During those years, they were gradually shown at the SECRET LIVES gallery in Eivissa D’Alt Vila. With a weak echo. Photo realism as a counterweight to the prevailing abstract painting was tolerated. Photography without artistic garb did not particularly excite anyone.
SECRET LIVES · GIF 00:45 ▼
The collection illustrates the story about the four protagonists of the recently published novels
SNAKIE – DIANA and SNAKIE – BILLY. Two antithetic boys from Salamanca, Spain, and Wyoming, USA, are in the spotlight. They literally have to fight against each other, until they can accept being
half-brothers. Their unmanly desire to be passively overwhelmed as well causes trouble. The hippies’ attitude to life and the solitude of a Mediterranean island allow them to legitimise their
strange appetite for meditative perseverance. The restriction of physical mobility with the aim of giving the mind priority over the body is a method known since antiquity. The young men research
the phenomenon thoroughly. The study of Far Eastern wisdom provides the intellectual basis.
Growing up, Manuel and Billy (nicknamed Jig and Quee) often fight with each other. The loser is imprisoned for the rest of the day, which the boys use to prepare themselves for corporal punishment in the military. Later on, martial arts fights in a mixture of jiu-jitsu and all-in wrestling become Billy and Manuel's daily sports. They fight naked under the Mediterranean sun like the ancient Greeks. Since they are pretty much equal in strength, depending on the day of course, victory and defeat go hand in hand. The game between Uke and Tori has rules¹). If the game ends in a draw, the boys roll the dice. This decides who has to take the part of Uke, being tied up for to find meditative stillness. Tori wears black leather, Uke wears jeans or has to put up with being naked. But everything is interchangeable like the boys' German short leather trousers. All their dreams and fantasies come alive again through the images from those happy years.
The following video clip is a preview for people, who are short on time.
Preview SECRET LIVES ³) · mp4 03:39 ▼
Diana and Virginia do not interfere in their partners' subtle games. The boys can fight as long as they want. Afterwards, between the sheets, they are as smooth as silk. The girls detest machos. They like softies and have no problem with their lovers' passivity.
This unique island in the sun was marked by an abundance of artistic creation. Later, the eccentric ambience could no longer hold its
own against the profiteering of the disco scene, drugs and fun tourism. Some of the old guard on the island still cling nostalgically to the past. They perhaps ignore the famous quote by Theodor
Adorno, who only knew Eivissa from his correspondence with Walter Benjamin: "There is no right life in the wrong one." ²)
Billy and Manuel like to wear leather clothing. It is a projection of their narcissistic egos, or in other words, their joie de vivre. It fits in with the hippie era and rock music. In the eighties, the young men have to accept that skin-tight leather clothing becomes the identifying mark of the homosexual movement. They also accept it when their girls insist: "Our lovers have a solid bisexual element in their behaviour." Billy jokes: "Who bothers about two brothers being tied up in the same bed?"
In the two missing volumes of SNAKIE, which are still in progress, Manuel and Billy will try to assert themselves with their idiosyncrasies in a completely changed world. This in mid-life and later, often far away from the Mediterranean Sea.
¹) In judo and some other martial arts, Tori is the person who completes the technique against the training partner, called Uke. Regardless of the situation, the principle is that Tori is always the one who successfully completes a technique. The terms Tori and Uke are not synonymous with attacker and defender, because the role is determined by who completes a successful technique, not who initiates one (quoted from Wikipedia).
²) Theodor W. Adorno, Minima Moralia. Reflections from Damaged Life, London, 1951
³) There are also two previews of images shown with caution in a special room during the 1978 exhibition. They may, depending on how you think, contain material that is not suitable for minors. However, the server is generally only accessible to adults.
Another selection of SECRET LIVES without images depicting explicit nudity and bondage
is presented at Flickr-Yahoo
My material (155 photos) on the channel got 312,091 clicks yet · Last updated January 31, 2023