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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

La Seducción de Jorge Luis – Volume 2

THE SET: IN A BUILDING AMONG MANY LIKE IT ON A STREET OF HUDDLED AND SHAMED RAMSHACKLE BUILDINGS IN THE SHADOW OF CUBA’S JEWEL, THE CAPITOLIO. SIX STORIES UP A TIGHT AND WINDING STAIRCASE. A CONDEMNED APARTMENT. A ROOM THAT WITNESSED SO MANY MEMORIES, NOT ONLY FROM THE MANY, NOW FORGOTTEN INHABITANTS, BUT ALSO FROM KEVIN HIMSELF, WHO ALREADY EXPERIENCED SOME MAGICAL MOMENTS HERE BEFORE.

Kevin Slack loves Cuba, and Cuba loves Kevin. Every time he returns, his friends welcome him back with open arms. Over the years, Kevin has built deep and personal relationships with the many young Cubans that posed in his stylish and melancholic photographs. And so, whenever Kevin Slack returns to Havana, it is like coming home for him. Like going back to a family that shares a level of intimacy and understanding that many real families never know. Which is also why Kevin’s new idea was a big risk, but one he was willing to take.

Kevin Slack returned to his so beloved Cuba with a concept. An idea that he planned to propose to two of his most intimate friends. Knowing it was not without risk. Because he knew both boys and their close friendship. He also understood the slumbering feelings Jorge Luis and Orly shared. The unspoken and never experienced emotions. So was it a calculated risk? Maybe. But a risk nevertheless.

"Over drinks I raise my idea to my champions, Jorge Luis and Orly. The seduction of Jorge Luis. No one could meet the task as much as Orly. They’ve always had a chemistry. Jorge Luis’ eye brighten. And he looks at Orly and smiles. In Spanish Jorge Luis challenges Orly: “You think you can do it, brother?” Orly gives a jerking nod with his head: “Let’s go. Right here. Right now.” Yes, they were good to go, and the plan, resistless." – Kevin Slack –

There was no way Kevin could plan a perfect day for this adventure. Any day would have to do. And any day was good to go. It was when the boys were ready, and they were ready now. And so the three of them ventured to a place Kevin and Jorge Luis knew so well from an earlier shoot. Because it was here where Kevin created his Resolviendo. A set of photographs that without doubt belong to some of his best work ever. And it was here where he knew Jorge Luis would be at ease and where Orly could be challenged to go further than he had ever gone. But little did Kevin Slack know that the two young Cubans would let go of all their constrains. They forgot Kevin with his camera. They only saw each other.

"El Chino, the man downstairs, cracks the dusty seal on the door of the apartment and lets us in. We open the balcony doors - they creak like crypt doors. Early Monday morning light streams in. For Havana, the air is surprisingly fresh. It's almost like I left it, like returning to a dream. Even some empty beer and rum bottles we had left the last time. The walls, the same, the tiles, the same. Time has covered my old dream in a little more dust. Here's what's different: that glorious bed, the bed my seven rambunctious boys broke, has been reclaimed and carried away. A pity, that. But I had been warned, and so we set up an iron bed I had had to rent. Yes, I definitely need a bed. And instead of waiting on seven boys, only two, only two will come this time, my eager champions, Jorge Luis and Orly. We sweep the floor. We make the bed. The space reclaimed and readied, the dream polished off, I wait. I smoke on the balcony. Monday morning behind the Capitol building, and me back in my dream. Tourists, a minute or two away, a few straggling uniformed children rush off to school, the street cleaner with his broom below, and I'm up here, waiting on my boys. For me, anticipation is the better part of joy and life and sex too. I take a drag on my Hollywood and I run through the story in my head: from resist through seduce to surrender. The space, the room, the bed, the dream wait for its players. A knock on the gate. Cue the boys. They are here." –BM-

Read also: La Seducción de Jorge Luis – Volume 1 and Resolviendo.

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