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accountable for his actions but also proved that life can be lived outside codified norms and within the spiritual domain. Under the omnipresent eye of the judicial system, he wandered and fragmented himself as a strategy for survival. Geographically he escaped, not his physical self but his morally responsible double as laws define it, legal worlds within legal worlds. From this moment on, fundamen­ tally like an Internet structure; in a network in which the notion of "I" now defined itself only in the mirror of the process. Yet, from one country to another the law is changing and is being modelled on patterns established as the result of history, culture and politics. Travelling the world selecting such diverse definitions could only result in his defining himself on the most essential criteria. Moreover, as he stresses, the Internet continues for him to be a metaphor of the divine, an agora

gives structure to his life. His legal body autopsied, disposed of, his sexual body lost in multiple facsimiles, there remains only the shadow of God to answer some fundamental questions and reveal the truth. Here too, he makes his search systematic and turns to each religious, ethnic and social group, he enters and penetrates every­ where, from one side of the river to the other, he passed from light to darkness. The spiritual and social fabric he inspects is as ordered in what is revealed as what is seen paraded in the full light of day. He puts a fundamental problem to each of us: how can a person deemed incapable of running their own affairs take part in the communion of mind and spirit? Of course, if pure mind and body there be, it would be his, per­ meated in every direction by the great void of the law -a black hole in which the amalgamation of all Good and Evil is said to be

of ethers. The more rigid the framework he imposed on himself, the stricter the rules, the more he could hope to escape. What in truth would escape from this non-life, was his soul. He has yet to take his body to the limits of that which perceives it. Ultimately, however, the process will be the same as with his legal body, verging on complete dissolution in order to become nothing more than a rite of passage. He could have confined himself to playing solitary private games and to intimate talk, yet he preferred more radical exposure of himself and contributed to networks which by their clandes­ tine nature have a "terra incogni­ ta" flavor. Talking to others, changing body and sex, he at once placed himself as someone privy to the ways of the initiated. There are codes governing this area which give meaning to the act. In the lost flow he rediscov­ ered the notion of dilution which

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engulfed whose secreted suffering is said to result in its reality. "I think therefore I am", "I suffer therefore I exist" he says suc­ cinctly. Chaos, it is well known, was the beginning of everything, and at the limits of disorder, E.T. is convinced he should focus on the stigmata of the mind and spirit. Thus the crucifixion is a symbolic icon that suits him. The embodi­ ment of forgiveness sacrificed, offered through pain, resonates along a road only justified in the extinction of self. E.T. continues to work on the idea of the solid and the void, he fills in, piles up, and increases the number of images. Fragmented, he can do no more than leave a place for that indefinable thing -the soul. With the Internet, he has, in short, found an appropriate way of functioning which echoes his life. Here geography is blown away, the legal system is at a loss, being everywhere is the norm and the network offers a new structure for

the social arena. This is said to be a new utopia which will at last make it possible to believe that the world can still, if not change, at least dream. He is one of its initiates and, in this game, he understands more quickly than others the full significance of this new arena. In 1999, as the century ended, he was able to leave his guardianship and non-status behind him and return to the social contract at the very moment it was disinte­grating. The Internet redefines the individual and the role of the author in a mass of constantly shifting information. E.T. is an expert on author's rights, and for good reason. In a virtual world, it is still the "I" who can fight best. ad augusta per angusta Hauviette Bethemont, Art Critic and Curator

photo Ingrid Janssen

If we were verging here on the limits of the law and propriety, perhaps all that would be left would be an appalling vacuum. Yet E.T. survives his eradication from the social arena with the energy and awareness of a man who has a cross to bear. He believes that only suffering is capable of sublimating his actions, so it rushes hither and thither, from the foot of his bed to the entrance of his domain. It is suffering which breathes a form of the sacred into his journey, which puts a price on his Redemption. The dispersion which finds its meaning in the emptiness of the law is that of the body divided. The dimension of this course is necessarily Christian. Suffering, sin, morality, all the ingredients of a high mass are scattered along a road which refers endlessly to the Stations of the Cross between damnation and eternal bliss. Every day E.T. put himself in a position where he was not only


Opus IX: Abode of Chaos / La Demeure du Chaos 1999-2013  

thierry Ehrmann: we put all our passion and folly into preparing this French-English Collector, the book of the decade: 504 pages / 4.5 kg /...

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