Thursday, December 30, 2010
"You are said to be the work of the sculptor Critios and you are known as "The Critios Boy". You are a boy made in white marble, you are a gift of the gods, a gift to the gods, and a long time ago, you were set up on the Athens acropolis, under the Attic sun light... It was in 480 BC, Xerxes and his Persian army just entered Athens, they looted and destroyed the acropolis itself. You felt down on the ground, you lost your head under the shock.
In 1865, the archaeologist Sam Rumpf found you in the acropolis ground. Your head was found in 1898.
About Critios, we know only the part he played in the blossoming of Classical Greek sculpture: he was among the very first to give life to the rigid bodies of traditional kouroi, to give life to the contours of marble body, in its harmony as well as in its subtle dissymetry, in the light swaying of the hips that make the sublime dynamics of a standing up young man.
About you, the boy who modelled for Critios, we know nothing, despite the fact your youth and your beauty are so present under our eyes today. I love to imagine you, while you were posing nude in the sculptor's workshop, while the sun light was caressing the relief of your body. "Stay still", Critios was telling you, "don't move, my boy, kalos, kalos ho paîs...". There is so much love in this marble statue... Such a sensitivity, such a way to look at what makes blossoming teen boys so close to Greek boys, so close to Apollo and Eros. The marble stone is still celebrating today the contours and the shape, the shades and relief, the life and youth emanating from your body, from the stone your body are made of. Most certainly, you were loved by Critios.
I met you again among the "Ragazzi" of the German photographer Konrad Helbig, a lover of ancient Mediterranean landscapes, of Crete, Attica and Sicily. He dreamt about you too and the result is a sublime photograph, where shade and light, black and white are transforming your body into a pure outline, into the quintessence of beauty, into a visual melody with so many sensual curvatures...
I share the way Critios looked at you, I share the way Konrad Helbig looked at the Critios sculpture, and everything in your white marble body is singing to my eyes, your body so close, so far away...
Some special boys offer an horizon for so many dreams, and even marble is living, when it is caressed by a gaze...
Philip X, Dreams of a Lonely Lover (unpublished manuscript).