Send me your bones!

Today, I found a great loot of bones in my mail, send in from Sweden. Eternal thanks to Jani from Ashes & Rain, who collected all those in the forests while bravely fighting off blood sucking insects. For everyone who might wonder what I am doing with bones, take a look at the “Wheel of Seven“, one of my favourite bone creations so far. That being said, the call for bones will never end, if you have some spare bones or skulls, I am always happy to make art out of them. Please contact me via Laetitia.Mantis(at)gmail.com to get rid of your bones and make an artist happy!

Empty | Not empty at all

My walls are empty, but not empty at all it seems… While part of my collages & paintings are still in storage after the last moving, the other part is still somewhere in Austria after “The Rise Of The Cosmic Fire” tour in December last year.  Soon all my creations will finally come home. You have no idea how much I am looking forward to the day. I specially miss my favourite, Submission, it will find its space above the altar.

Wolf child

Fruits of the forest © Laetitia Mantis

Originally  the term wolf child relates to a child who has lived isolated from any human contact from a very young age. These feral children are known to often lack basic social skills and an interest in the human activities around them. We find quite a few examples in history for wolf children.

Although I did not grow up amongst forest animals, this is exactly  the way I feel about modern society most of the time. My interest in common passtimes and “normal” subjects of interest is quite limited. Art and music – yes, I can relate to that, but the roots of these go back much further than anything you would call civilisation.

Some people might even say I indeed lack social skills. Of course, if you want to talk about your huge flat screen television, your new designer boots or getting your nails done, you bore the wolf child in me to death and I might misbehave and feed your impression of lacking any social skills. And I rarely feel sorry for it.

Well, I grew up in the modern world like you. I know how to use a computer and a smartphone, obviously. I do have profiles on social media sites to promote my art. I do not demonize everything modern. I have learned to put a few of these things to my use, for as long as they are useful. But the brainwashing attempts of the modern “bread and games education” didn’t really succeed with me. I am very aware of the fact that some things might be temporary and gone some day – and for most of them I will not shed a tear. There are also things in the modern world that I avoid completely, like any kind of video gaming. From gameboy to playstation or computer games, I do know that these things exist, but I never spent a minute of my life with it. These kind of passtimes create nothing from my point of view, and creation is one of the things I care about most. People often tell me that they “reset their brain” with passtimes like television and gaming, after a long hard workday, which they probably do indeed, but not the way they intend to, but following the intentions of the ones who are developing  these “games”. When I want to “reset my brain”, I connect with the elements of nature. I get lost in a forest or stare at a fire.

Although this wolf child loves solitude, I care about friendships. Social media has ruined the term, you can be “friends” with anyone anywhere. But there is a positive aspect as well, some true friends would have never met if it wasn’t a social media contact that started the spark for a real connection.

I also care about knowledge, but it must be practicable. There are many people who have read far more books than I did, but reading and practise are not the same. Theoretical knowledge can even hinder you sometimes. There are a lot of books about gardening for instance, and it is a good idea to keep some of those in your household if you maintain a garden. But I do not treat them like the ultimate wisdom. If you do your gardening strictly after a calender that is handed to you, you will find yourself much less successful than someone who observes his environment and the holy elements – and does gardening according to it.

Speaking of knowledge, in the times of internet it seems that there is information about everything. Google and the likes have become all-knowing garbage dumps. And for every “fact” there are tons of “alternative facts”. You can spend a lifetime reading about conspiracy theories, but what can you gain from it? A feeling of superiority because you “woke up”? Fear, because you know, “they” are after you? The realisation, that slavery never ended but got more subtle? Will you sleep better, after sucking on the big tit of information? Truth and reality will never be the same, but reality can bite your ass anytime, totally oblivious to the nobility of truth.

I care  about freedom. But not in an anarchistic way. Every smallest tribe has its rules. And when you decide to run in a pack, you run in a pack. Although enjoying life is a huge part of keeping mental health, some things have to be done, no matter how you feel about them. Freedom is not about doing nothing or being lazy. But of course, the label of laziness will always stick to the artists and philosophers.

Something that is for sure an important part of my personal freedom, is the lack of need for many things the modern world has to offer. Because all of these things come with a prize that can quickly reduce your freedom. Quite often I hear words like “you have to buy this or that thing, you absolutely need this in your household!” Instead of explaining myself, I smile, because I know I don’t have to play the consumer game if I don’t want to. I don’t need shopping sprees for my happiness. I don’t need dozens of dresses or shoes. I rather pick up rocks and little things from the forest and worship them.

My personal bubble of civilisation bursted long ago. And once the lights will go out everywhere else, I will keep the fire burning and hope for other wolf children to do the same.

Back Online

I have been silent here for many weeks, due to my stay in an area with no reception. It is still impossible to reach me by phone, but mails and messages will be checked more or less daily from now on. I will slowly work myself through the pile of unanswered messages within the next days…

 

The wheat and the chaff

I have mentioned it in private conversations before, but it’s also worth a note. Bad times are bad times. BUT, if you try to see the good things, the parts that push you into development (your only way should be ever forward!), there is always something to learn and to appreciate. It’s sad but true that we do learn a lot through painful experiences.

I have been in bad situations before in my life, nevertheless you never get used to “loosing ‘friends'”. Yes, double quotation mark here. Because the ones you loose, have never been there in the first place. They liked you for what you do or own, but not for what you ARE.

That being said, the last weeks & months have been quite interesting. The wheat and the chaff are separating. I could shed a tear, but I prefer to move on and take just the ones with me who are worth it. I was going through the same experience when I closed Atelier Abraxas in Leipzig a few years back. Suddenly I found myself with less “friends”. But apart from the initially painful experience, it’s a cleaning process, a process of stratification and knowledge.

If you are going through a hard time and a lot of changes, see the loss of humans around you as a chance for a brighter future. Do not hang on, don’t be desperate. Don’t try to fix things that can’t be fixed. Embrace the process of cleaning. Find out who your real friends are. And find potential real friends, humans, you maybe don’t know for a long time but who are willing to surprise you and to jump into the river with you.

I am hard to push to talk about love. But some few of you humans, I do love you, while I can only offer my disgust to the mainstream masses.  But you, you are keeping me from being a complete misanthrope, living as an hermit, throwing dirt at those who pass by. There might be times when I appear cold, but you are the ones worth keeping up the flag in a world full of shit. This is a homage to you. I do love you.

 

Summer in October

While I clearly can’t hide my joy about the summerly weather this fall, the everlasting discussion about global warming goes on. Inspired by a post amongst my facebook connections, here are my five cents on the subject.

Researching the net, you will find two major opinions telling you opposite things. While one party is convinced that the collapse due to global warming is close, the other will tell you that we are facing a small ice age very soon, due to the sun becoming less active. Both opinions show valid research behind it and it becomes almost impossible for the laymon to decide who is right. In the end, it becomes a question of faith.

I am not so much of a laymon speaking about this issues as you might expect me to be as an artist. Back in the days I studied geology and palaeontology –  and everything related to the subject was of interest to me, from ocean science to meterology or even biology. You can not talk about meterology and the climate without talking about geology. Geology is a science based on the principle of uniformity. In other words, we observe a process and expect this process to follow its own rules every time when it happens. Meaning if we find marine formations from the past in a desert, we must conclude that there once was an ocean.

The historical geology of the earth clearly shows that the climate has never been stable on this planet. The mediterranean sea for instance was once dry. We find a lot of rocks from Scandinavia in Northern Germany, that have been transported by ice streams that once covered the areas. And the climate of Arctica was much warmer in the past without any coverage of ice. Those are only a few examples.

Now measured on a geological scale, the human “guest performance” on this planet is just a blink of the eye in the whole history of earth. Nevertheless, humans seem to have a great impact on this planet. Who doesn’t know the sketch of two planets meeting, one complaining about health issues, “I’ve got humans”, and the other comfortingly saying, “no worries, it will pass”. Humans are responsible for the demise of many species, pollution, the destruction of nature in general. While a species survives and evolves in developing new features and skills that allow a better adjustment then the previous design, humans try it other way round. They want to adjust nature instead of adjusting to it.

In my opinion, it is not important to know if global warming is a hoax theory or not. Same goes for the ice age theory. What we need to understand is the fact, that we are part of a dynamic system that we can not control. Geoengineering attempts that though, but is nothing more than a game with uncertain outcome.

After the volcanic eruption of Pinatubo in 1991, earth was facing what we call a volcanic winter. Due to the ashes and droplets of sulphuric acid that were blown out during the eruption and resulted in increasing the reflection of solar radiation, a reduction of global tempertures was caused. The Pinatubo is not a so-called supervolcano, although it resides quite high on the Volcanic Explosivity Index. But speaking about volcanoes, nature has some far more powerful weapons in stock. Looking at the Deccan Traps of West central India, we can get an idea about that.

Apart from my favourite geological subject, the gates to hell, nature has a whole arsenal of other possible scenarios in stock. Earthquakes, floods and pandemics, to just name a few. Now, why am I writing these things? Do I want to scare you, am I am scared? I am not and you shouldn’t be, too. Fear is not a healthy thing to cultivate. That is one more reason to get rid of your television actually, as fear is cultivated perfectly through the little box so many like to stare into.

But awareness of the fact, that the life in your current body, the life you know, is not endless is something to think about. Death is certain may sound scary to some, too, but actually the realisation of this fact is the one thing that gives worth to your life. If we would not die some day, what goals would be there to reach? Life would be worth nothing.

As my life in this body is limited, I long for quick changes. I want to see all this weapons nature has to offer in action. I applaude every catastrophe. Of course, with a tear in one eye, too. I am neither a rock nor a psychopath. But I do want mankind to finally develop and adapt to nature, not the other way round. Watching the stinking slow death of civilisation makes me sick. The masses who consume without thinking, who destroy our life basis out of pure greed, I have no sympathy for them. I know that a thunderstorm that would clear the air might cost the lifes of loved ones, too. Maybe even my own life. But if we die out, we earn it. Maybe not every single person, but as a human mass, we clearly do.

What is left to do? Enjoy your life. Question things. If we can not evolve as a species in this moment of time, evolve as a person. Be kind to yourself and to those who earn your kindness. Realise your potential. Don’t follow social expections. Be someone, who can welcome death one day, because you did it all. Don’t waste your time dreaming about what your life could be. Feast, fukk – and always fight for your freedom!

And don’t forget to enjoy the October sun.

Good-bye suburbia

For the last one and a half years I have lived on the edge of a small town in Saxony. It has been a total contrast to my former hide-out in the Thuringian forest. This area was once a small village that has been incorporated into the town. On one hand the environment here is still very rural and you can hear the voices of cows, sheep and the occasional rooster. There is also a lovely old part of the village, with the typical old farm houses. On the other hand people really try to make it feel like a true suburbia. In some streets there are more conifers in the gardens than vegetables or fruits and everyone keeps mowing lawn on a regular basis. The houses that have been added to the village in the last century basically all look the same to me, although that is not really true. Of course they come with different faces, but nevertheless they feel like the same.

The fruits that grow outside of gardens are not harvested anymore, sadly I watched berries, cherries and apples rot away, while people go shopping for fruits instead. Everyone here seems to spend a fortune on their house facades, terrace designs and equipment and of course every family has more than one car, even in retired households. Are these people doing well? According to social standards, probably. Do they enjoy their lifes? I can’t tell. I never really made any new contacts in my neighbourhood that were not feline. It happened only one time that a neighbour stopped her car and asked me if I wanted a ride, while I was walking home during a  thunderstorm with heavy rain, carrying a fully packed backpack. While I had no idea who she was or in which of the houses she lived, she seemed to know me and dropped me off in front of the right building without having to ask. It seems that actually everyone in the neighbourhood knows me, because it is very unusual for someone to walk around in this area with a heavy backpack who is not a wanderer on the pilgrimage route. I tend to walk the 6km tour to the post office or the supermarket at least twice a week. I noticed something funny about this, while closer to the center, people sometimes smile at me and my backpack, maybe thinking I am a wanderer. I guess that walking the pilgrimage route is more respected than not owning a car. But the closer I get to “home”, the more people look away and don’t even greet me, as if they are afraid I would ask for a ride. Which I actually never would, I have outgrown the hitchhiker days, all people who gave me a ride during the last few years did actually ask me. Of course, sometimes it’s not easy to carry everything home like that, but alas, I like the feeling that follows, after being done with it.

This isn’t really my world. Although I enjoy the luxury of having a big space here, over the months, I have started to feel trapped in suburbia, like a wild animal within a lovely golden cage. The more I looked at all these domesticated humans, the more my feral side grew. More and more I felt tempted to run nacked into the garden during a summer rain, to give the neighbours something to talk about until the end of their days.

And then there was the summer solstice ritual in the mountains. Something happened that I can’t put into words, or I should rather say that I don’t want to put into words. When I returned, I did not return “home”. It was just a feeling until August, when I was informed that my place is supposed to be rented out by the end of the year for more money than I can pay with my current income. So far I only had to pay for the extras, which often seemed too much for me already, because the place is simply too big for one person and two cats. I didn’t even think twice and said, okay then, I am going to move, although I had no idea at that point of the story, where this journey would take me. I could have tried to find an additional work to finance this place, but somehow I was relieved that my guts were right. I do not belong here.

My following search for a new home was successful. Even more, it was one of these strange “coincidences”  that do not exist. And although my final moving is still a few weeks ahead from now, in my mind I have left suburbia already.

Good-bye suburbia, the ship has sailed.

Disneyland can wait

(This true story is based on the original text from October 2014, that I had written in German language. With the translation I also added some details that got lost in the first version.)

disneyland

One of the countless displays within the hotel

I met quite some people in my life who would be delighted to go to Disneyland, but be assured I have never been one of them. Theme parks, amusement parks, all that sounds like a nightmare to me. I would probably get drunk, beat up Mickey and end up peeing into some fountain. But as we know, the universe loves irony.

In October 2014 I spent some time in Portugal (again) and on my way home, I had to catch my connecting flight to Leipzig in Paris. My flight in Lisboa left in the morning already and I arrived in Paris before noon, but it made no sense to leave the airport, so I waited bravely for a few hours for my connection. When the flight was finally ready for boarding, the responsible airline decided out of the blue rather not to fly. Without any informations, the flight was cancelled. For hours the airline company chased the passengers from one counter to another, it was spoken about alternative flights to leave Paris, but in the end it turned out that none of the passengers would fly anywhere that night. The fight about the morning flights started amongst the passengers, the first airplane flying out did not have enough seats to take all. I managed to get promised a seat, because I told the woman behind the desk, that my cats were home alone. Which was true, my cat sitter had left my place in the morning and had no time to return.

It was after midnight already, close to 1am, when finally someone gave every passenger a hotel voucher. We were told that whole Paris was booked already, and a bus took us on a quite long ride, spiting us out in front of a huge Disney Resort Hotel. The reception was closed already, bar and restaurant as well. Two people were called to check us in. I asked for something to drink and some food, I got a small papercup with water and some candy instead. And a keycard to a room that I wasn’t able to find for quite some time because the place was huge.

It was so late at night and the bus for the morning flight was going to leave at 5am, so I decided not to go to bed at all. Instead I took a long shower, to find out that my only clean t-shirt was a bandshirt of NON/Boyd Rice. How naive I was, when I bought it and thought that DISNEYLAND CAN WAIT (1). After the shower, I went exploring.

The whole place seemed to be made out of plastic. Completely air-conditioned, the windows would not even open. Huge glass displays filled with Disney figurines everywhere. I started to feel trapped and went outside, passing by a vending machine with water and more candy. I had no small cash and starred longingly at the overpriced small Vittel bottles. I did not dare to drink water from my bathroom, not in plasticland. Who knows, maybe I showered with recycled urine of other hotel guests. With candy flavour. In a place like this, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out. The reception was closed again, of course, no one to change some money.

I had a few crumbs of tobacco left, which I forced into some paper, to pretend to be a cigarette. Smoking, wandering around, I was quickly caught by two security guards. One huge black guy and a tall skinny white fellow, both in uniforms.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? – What does it look like, I am obviously smoking! The guards seemed to have problems to process this information. It seems no one ever smokes at night in Disneyland. Next they asked me, almost with an impending voice, do you have a problem!? – Well yes, actually I do have a problem. I need food, a strong drink and now also obviously tobacco. Both of them looked at me with regret and shook their heads. I raised my eyebrow and replied: Well then, Disneyland clearly sucks!

*squeal* WHAT???? NO!!!! You are going to see Disneyland tomorrow, how can you say that? (The big black fellow suddenly spoke in a very high voice) – I HOPE NOT, with some luck I am out of here before dawn. – BUT, but, you’re a girl! Every girl loves Disney!!! *squeal*

Did those guys look at me? I came from the forests & mountains of Portugal, and although I had showered, my fresh shirt did not really smell fresh after mingling with my dirty clothes a long hot day in Paris. I wore army boots, an army jacket and I roll my cigarettes myself. All in all, that doesn’t sound very girlie to me. Also, I am not 12 years old. A few minutes earlier they seemed to want to arrest me, to  squeal like happy cartoon pigs a minute later, every time they say Disney. The big black one with the more badly-fitted uniform even jumped into the air a bit when squealing DISNEY! DISNEY! DISNEY! *jump-jump-jump* I was not really sure if I wanted to listen to the song “People”(2) or “All Pigs Must Die”(3) first.

I wish the story would stop at this point. But it didn’t. I booked Etihad, I paid the price. Lesson learned. In the morning, the bus brought me back to the airport. The airplane did fly. Just not to Leipzig. I landed in Berlin instead and the airline company did not really feel responsible to get me to Leipzig, my booked destination. Most passengers gave up and took the train or bus on their own cost. But I was not willing to pay for that transfer. No one fukks around with me when I am that hungry and tired. To make a long story short, I ended up traveling in a bus with an Indian travel group, who did fly in from Paris as well, and needed transfer to Leipzig. I functioned as their translater and with a group that big behind me, no one ignored me at the airport anymore. The old German bus driver was very happy about my presence, because he spoke no English and all the continiously babbling Indian students seemed to scare the shit out of him. He has never been to a Disney Resort Hotel I guess.

All in all, I arrived home almost 20 hours after my planned arrival. The cats were fine, but very very hungry. Disneyland waited in vain.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

(1)

(2) Boyd Rice: People (album: Music, Martinis & Misanthropy)
(3) Death In June: All Pigs Must Die (album: All Pigs Must Die)

Some bridges need burning

Laetitia Mantis (February 2018)

Dear friends, silent watchers, stalkers and foes!

Sometimes there comes a point in life, when you feel the need to burn a bridge. And here I am, putting back the matches into my pocket, turning around for a last time to watch the fire.

Yes, I have taken offline the old Laetitia Mantis | Atelier Abraxas | Okkulteur Archive. I hope it entertained you well for the time being. I will go on to use this “virtual diary” though, so stay tuned for the things to come. Please note, this is not my official homepage, if you came here to get an overview of my visual works & skills, please visit the link above from the navigation menu or simply click on the image to the left (or above, if you use a smaller device to view this page).