alejandra avilés artista artist rattlesnake namibia albino alejandra avilés artista artist rattlesnake namibia albino

West Diamond Back Rattle Snake Crotalus Atrox
Albino North America Illegal in Namibia, 2016

Object
Graphite and laser cut on wood
Dimensions: 65 x 65 x 2 cm

This is the text written on the label of the cage of an albino diamond rattlesnake in the Snake Park of Swakopmund, a city located in the atlantic coast of the african country of Namibia.

The label said:

WEST DIAMOND-BACK
RATTLESNAKE
[CROTALUS ATROX]
[ALBINO]
NORTH AMERICA
ILLEGAL IN NAMIBIA

I knew that there’s no rattlesnakes in Africa, just as there’s no cobras in America. So I wonder what was that rattlesnake doing so far from America?

In a state of illegality, the snake must have arrived to the continent as an exotic pet. Then the government of Namibia confiscated it and not knowing how to deal with an alive animal, they ended up donating it to the Snake Park in Swakopmund.

I thought that it’s name “diamond rattlesnake” was particularly unfortunate, because among all the other angled shapes of the world, someone associated the angles of it’s head with the angles of the diamonds. Although nothing has to do with the head of a snake with a diamond, it was that name which made it look like a treasure in Swakopmund, a city full of diamond merchants.