The pictures had been produced in the seventies in Ibiza. In those years, they were shown little by little in the gallery SECRET LIVES, situated in Eivissa D’Alt Vila. With a weak echo. Photo realism as a makeweight to the predominant abstract painting was tolerated. Photography without an artistic dressing did not make much appeal to anyone.
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’ approach toward life and the solitude of a Mediterranean island allow them later on legitimising their strange appetite for meditative persistence. Restricting physical mobility with the intention to give the spirit priority over the body is a method, renowned since ancient times. The young men are investigating the phenomenon thoroughly. Studies of Far Eastern wisdom provide the intellectual basis.
As adolescents, Manuel and Billy (nicknames Jig and
Quee) often fight with each other. The loser is taken prisoner for the rest of the day, as the boys want to prepare themselves for corporal punishment in the military. Later on, the martial arts
fights in a mixture of jiu-jitsu and all-in wrestling are Billy’s and Manuel’s daily sports. They fight under the Mediterranean sun as the ancient Greeks with not a stitch on. As they are, of course,
depending on the day, much pretty of equal force, victory and defeat go side by side. The game between Uke and Tori has rules. If the match ends in a draw, the boys throw dice. That decides, who is
Tori, and who must take Uke’s part, being captured for a while. Now for the serious purpose of meditative stillness. Tori wears black leather, Uke wears jeans or has to be naked. But all is
interchangeable. This is unfold by the pictures of those happy years. The following video clip (click on the picture!) is a preview for people, who are short on
The documentation will be replenished by snapshots of subsequently produced video material (in progress).
Diana and Virginia do not poke into the subtle games of their partners. The boys may struggle as long as they like. Afterwards, between the sheets, they are as smooth as silk. The girls despise machos. They like softies and do not have any problem with the young men’s passiveness.
That singular island in the sun was marked by plentiful artistic creation. Later on, the eccentric ambience could not hold its ground against the greed of gain in disco scene, drugs, and fun tourism. Some of the island’s old guard individuals still do nostalgically hang on the past. They might ignore the famous quotation of Adorno, who only knew Eivissa from his correspondence with Walter Benjamin: “There is no right life in the wrong one.” *)
Billy and Manuel are fond of leather clothing. It is a projection of their narcissistic ego, or in other words, their
enjoyment of life. It goes with the hippie era and rock music. But the two boys loose the pleasure of wearing tight leather pants, when in the eighties the homosexual movement selects black
leather as symbol of recognition.
The two last volumes of SNAKIE are still in progress. Far from the Mediterranean Sea and beyond the middle years of their life, Manuel and Billy with their eccentricities try to make their way in a completely disenchanted world.
*) Theodor W. Adorno: Minima Moralia. Reflections from Damaged Life. London, 1951
To the complete collection with the original titles ▼