The Adventures of Swiss Skeli & Friends

Join me in the Adventures of Swiss Skeli & Friends.

You can read his newest adventures on instagram: /  Leer sus nuevas aventuras: /  Lese seine neuesten Abenteuer:   @the_calavera_club

The Life of a Calavera

Swiss Skeli is born as a small “Calavera” in Tzintzuntzan on November 1, 1874 (the Day of the Dead) in the large cemetery of Cucuchucho in the municipality of Tzintzunzan, Michoacan, Mexico. This is the Victorian Age. He grows up to be a real gentleman.

Sometime in the 20th century, he lands across the sea in the city of Bern, Switzerland, and is therefore named Swiss Skeli. For the most part he never forgets his Mexican roots. Whenever he can, he celebrates the Dias de los Muertos. Ultimately, in the life of a calavera, that means every day!

Swiss Skeli decides to hire a Fleshy (skeletons refer to the living as Fleshys) for the purpose of documenting his life and adventures. Swiss Skeli finds an artist Fleshy named Renée Magaña, who has never been afraid of skeletons and found it perfectly normal when Swiss Skeli knocked on her studio door one night.

Meet Aunty Agate Godflower as she comes to visit. See the Boney Inlaws at dinner. Join Skeli as he parachutes in Ascona or goes sailing alongside his sailor brother Gaultier. There is no telling what he will be up to next…

Swiss Skeli says welcome to his grand adventures! Join us: @the_calavera_club

La muerte es democrática, ya que a fin de cuentas, güera, morena, rica o pobre, toda la gente acaba siendo calavera.

– José Guadalupe Posada

The Adventures of Skeli Man (the bicycle tour)
The Adventures of Skeli Man (the bicycle tour) oil and sporepowder on old photograph, 45 x 34.5 cm, 2019

“Death is democratic. In the end they all become skeletons, no matter whether they were blond or brunette, poor or rich.” – José Guadalupe Posada

The European tradition of the “Dance of Death” is less familiar to me than the work of the Mexican cartoonist José Guadalupe Posada, which is part of the Mexican identity today. Posada (1854 – 1913) worked as a caricaturist in Mexico City and published mainly works that were directed against the government of Porfirio Diaz and the oppression by the Mexican upper class. For this purpose he worked with “calaveras” (skeletons) and created “La Catrina”. Posada’s figures serve no moral-educational purpose, because death is not taboo in Mexico. Death is viewed with irony. It is this light-hearted approach to the representation and form of death that interests and moves me.

Winged calaveras
Winged calaveras, painted photograph (1912), 8.4 x 13.5 cm, 2020

“Der Tod ist demokratisch. Am Ende werden sie alle zu Skeletten, ganz gleich ob sie blond oder brünett, arm oder reich waren.” – José Guadalupe Posada

Die europäische Totentanz-Tradition ist mir weniger bekannt als die Arbeit des mexikanischen Karikaturisten José Guadalupe Posada, die heute zur mexikanischen Identität gehört. Posada (1854 – 1913) betätigte sich als Karikaturist in Mexiko- Stadt und veröffentlichte vorwiegend Arbeiten, die gegen die Regierung von Porfirio Diaz und die Unterdrückung durch die mexikanische Oberschicht gerichtet waren. Zu diesem Zweck arbeitete er mit „calaveras“ (Skeletten) und kreierte „La Catrina“, die auch hier bekannt ist. Die Figuren Posada’s dienen keinem moralisch-erzieherischen Zweck, weil der Tod in Mexico auch nicht tabuisiert wird. Der Tod wird mit Ironie betrachtet. Es ist dieser unbeschwerliche Umgang mit der Darstellung und Form des Todes der mich interessiert und bewegt.