Nathan, like Richard, was trapped inside a world of fantasy. Nathan imagined himself as a slave, subservient yet physically powerful, who had saved the life of his king and had thereby earned the king’s gratitude. It was an elaborate fantasy, played out in innumerable ways, yet it always allowed Nathan to imagine himself as superior.
[Nathan] fancies himself as being a slave, in which case he has saved the king’s life, and the king is very grateful, and the king wants to recompense him by giving him his liberty, which he refuses. However, he is a very unusual slave. He is not an ordinary everyday slave. He belongs to the social grade of slaves, to be sure, but he is very powerful, physically powerful. The various kings, when they are in dispute with one another, if they want to settle their differences, each pick out one of their slaves to fight in singlehanded combat. He is always the one that is picked out. He always wins. Sometimes, he says, he has found himself fighting many, many men in his phantasies, to save the king. At times it was getting where he was fighting a thousand men, singlehanded; and then the thing would get so utterly ridiculous that he would shake himself out of the phantasy and perhaps begin over again.
Excerpted from the Psychiatric Testimony in the Nathan Leopold & Richard Loeb Hearing (August 1924)
Julien Ceccaldi (b. 1987, Montreal, Canada) has presented solo projects at Swiss Institute, New York, 2014; New Theater, Berlin, 2014; MJ Gallery, Zurich, 2014; and Paradise Garage, Venice, CA, 2013. He has recently participated in group exhibitions at Greene Naftali Gallery, New York; Truth and Consequences, Geneva; and Supportico Lopez, Berlin, among others. Ceccaldi’s comics have been featured in print and online publications, and he has selfpublished two comic books, Comics Collection 2010-2013, and Less Than Dust. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition at Jenny’s, Los Angeles.