Saturday, July 12, 2008
Stations of the Cross
In the realm of Second Life, Eshi Otawara and I are bodies in orbit around a common point. Both of us have taken our artistic hand to Second Life as a medium, but also or nature as personalities. Other artists have made much larger sales in second life, but often the connection was an rl one that was consumated in second life itself. We are of a time and place. She is dress maker to the stars who gets high profile commercial sim builds, while I am best known for aphoristic compositions built rapidly, and am one of the land princess of second life now. That there is a gravitational pull that might be described, inaccurately, as rivalry, is seen by what we are both doing now. I am working on commercial buildings and an installation associated with a high profile event, the sort of thing that Eshi is known for, and she is working on a series of one hour sim builds, which must, naturally, center around a single aphoristic concept exploited to its merciless conclusion.
These are hosted at Desperado. The land is donated by Dirk Talamasca, an individual who I abhor, but who is acting generously to help an artist in dire need make a series of statements which are both political and personal. Political in that they erupt from the nature of a state that evicts widows back to lands distant and unstable, and personal in that they freeze the bones with the internal pain and anguish of the experience of being not merely an enemy of the state, but in a state of disarray and vulnerability.
Her second in this series is "You Cannot Hide," and it is a depiction of the laser crossing lines of a surveillance society. One which just declared that the executive is above the law, because if the executive should break the law, it will be changed to nullify the consequences. In such a society, where the security-disinformation complex takes its place next to the military-industrial complex as a vast hive of expense and privilege, the same apparatus that cannot catch the most wanted man of our time, has the time to hunt down file sharers, and look into what every individual, ever, has viewed on You Tube.
It also, as I said, has time to evict a 28 year old art student for the crime of having a dead husband.
Eshi is building and destroying these rapidly, so it is essential that you come and look as quickly as possible, and absorb the sequence of events as the works unfold, create the Passion of St. Eshi, her own stations of the cross, following the events of what is, in reality and without exageration, a martyrdom.
In the late 20th century this idea was taken up by Barnett Newman to thematicize in a new genre and aesthetic the richly and repeatedly told founding myth of one of the great Monotheisms of the world. All monotheism is about sacrifice of the individual to the larger entity, and hence, it is appropriated by kings by whatever name as the model for their relationship to the citizen. God is everywhere, all powerful, and the sole judge of sin.
Ehsi's opening is the state of the whole, and this second station of her passion play, the remorseless red eye of a new Sauron which stares down upon her. And all of us.