Snakes and Ladders
Game of Life and Tribute to the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism
VINDOBONA ALTARPIECE III
For some time now I've been asked to write a little something about this work by the collector who owns it. I finally did take the time and wound up writing something just short of my life story. I composed it on Google documents and downloaded it as pdf, which I then uploaded to Issuu.
While I had set out to make this a tribute to the Vienna School, the subtitle Snakes and Ladders also alludes to the Game of Life, as in the words of Salman Rushdie (Midnight’s Children):
All games have morals; and the game of Snakes and Ladders captures, as no other activity can hope to do, the eternal truth that for every ladder you hope to climb, a snake is waiting just around the corner, and for every snake a ladder will compensate. But it's more than that; no mere carrot-and-stick affair; because implicit in the game is unchanging twoness of things, the duality of up against down, good against evil; the solid rationality of ladders balances the occult sinuosities of the serpent; in the opposition of staircase and cobra we can see, metaphorically, all conceivable oppositions, Alpha against Omega, father against mother.