Matador Beach

Used Men, Used Land

North of Malibu, California lays Matador Beach. Down a steep cliff one reaches a wide sandy beach. The sand banks are rutted by red rocks and connected by lagoons. Some meters above are the classy mansions of the Hollywood stars. Their wastewater pipes run to the beach and let the brown muck trickle down. The Dolphins, seals and seagulls splashing in the water are faced with the crudities of the rich.Two realities collide on this site; Mother Nature and splendid lifestyles, public and private space, cliché and truth. Matador is the term for the well-known Spanish bullfighter - a traditional role model for manhood. Preconceptions of virility are addressed here, especially the male body and the way it is represented. Just as our imagined ideal of Malibu Beach these conceptions develop in our minds. We imagine a pastel colored part of Arcadia, populated by greasy and glossy lifeguards and beach boys dressed in neon colored Hawaii shirts and cocktails in their hands. But as quickly as this dream vanishes, nature catches up with the human bodies and breaks them by wrinkling, growing bristles and hanging flesh. The ideals of beauty and sexuality prove to be as elusive and tedious as the decorative painting on a souvenir. Matador Beach becomes a shelter for pure, natural virility. Man becomes one with the land, he is a wild animal tamed only by the desirous glance. These images, as projection surfaces for our phantasies, tell more about the observer than the observed. Femininity exists in this world only as an echo or caricature of male sexuality. The Golden Age is kept alive artificially and turns this way into kitsch, survives only as nostalgic reminiscence of the old days. Matador Beach marks the end point of four connected exhibitions; Asshole Island, Club Tropicana and Sunset Boulevard. Starting from large scaled multimedia installations the topics solidify as small format paintings and come to an all uniting and simultaneously destructing end. 
Time to set out for new frontiers!



Photos: Martin Vesely