Txema YesteExtase featurig Stella Lucia for Numero (2016)

The image above does not really fit the format of this project. I’m including it anyway.

Why? Well, first of all, it’s more or less embedded itself in my subconscious. There’s something both beautiful and sinister about it.

Also, I really don’t care for snakes. To the extent that whenever a photo of a snake slithers across my dashboard, I physically cringe–every damn time.

It’s not an intrinsic or irrational fear–I came about half a second from stepping barefoot into a nest of copperheads when I was a wee one. I remember it very distinctly because of the sudden sharp stop from my father that despite the fact that I normally did not give a fuck what he said his voice left no room for anything except to stop dead in my tracks. I saw it a second later–a big momma copper head ready to strike, her babies relatively oblivious nearby. I was instructed to back away slowly. Took half a step and then was suddenly yanked back several yards.

I also remember connecting that memory with a scene in a PBS educational series where an Indiana Jones type character had to proceed through a tomb and there was a pit of snakes and the viewer was informed that a certain number of the snakes were venomous while the rest were harmless. The idea being that you could calculate the risk of clamoring through the pit if youw ere so inclined.

So snakes are one of the few things where something in the real world has crawled into my dream world. Any dream where I am outside and there are leaves on the ground or visible tree roots, my brain is automatically wary of snakes.

And ring neck garden snakes or corn snakes are great–and I have no qualms handling them. It’s just coming upon a snake unexpectedly always makes me very antsy because I’m not so great at determining if their venomous or not. (Same way that I’d love to forage for mushrooms but there are too many that I just can’t tell the super poisonous ones from the edible ones… so I just don’t mess with it.)

The snake in this image is some sort of boa constrictor or python, I think. But it’s shot in such a way that you don’t immediately know that.

It’s also a narrative image–what the narrative is, is ambiguous; but it is better for such ambiguity. (Also, there’s not many interpretations that aren’t somewhat surreally unhinged.)

As much as I don’t care for vertical oriented images, this is an example of an image that would only work as a skinny frame.

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