A magic image: a case of intersexuality.
The original photograph comes from the
archives of Dr. G. Klonaris, gynecological surgeon and obstetrician. The
subject is female with a male body construction.
She should not exist. She exists. She
embodies pure difference .
S/he provokes a distance of mystery and
an erotic sensation. From a philosophical point of view there is an inversion.
This body is the inverted twin of the concept of the Hermaphrodite as synthesis
of the two sexes according to the ancient Greek myth personified in Hellenistic
sculpture. Here gender appears rather as an in-between and could evoke
a state before or after sexual difference. This is a pre- or post- gender
body. A metaphor or a prophesy reflecting the contemporary crisis in sexual
difference. An abstraction generated by the collapse of differentiated
gender. There is a feeling, however, of wholeness.
"The Angel is another form of omnipotence.
An omnipotence through abstraction" (Catherine Millot) .
The Angel. A meta – concept. On the other
side of the dualistic world and of sexual differentiation. The alchemical
hermaphrodite, symbol of the coincidentia oppositorum already prefigures
and incorporates the angel as winged Hermes. Messenger according to Greek
etymology, the angel in Christian, Judaic and Arabic theologies represents
a link between the material and the imaginal world. An intermediate entity
originating from the abstraction of the causal world and integrating the
anthropomorphic frame of our world. A non image converting itself into
You escape all form and you contain
all forms. A reality without shape, without number, without name yet. Unconceivable
– except through love .’
That particular body, that clinical case,
erases the border not only between the feminine and the masculine, but
also between the concrete and the abstract, the imaginary and the palpable.
It stands on the in-between. We named her/him ANGEL.
In 1985 we started elaborating this unknown:
the concept of the Angel mediated by an intersexual subject. We first chose
to associate it with galactic landscapes. Like a magnet, this human shape
attracted suspended constellations, planetary nebulae, solar eclipses,
stellar clouds. Our photographic superimpositions with astronomical documents
led to superimpositions of the subject with itself. The layers augmented.
The frame moved from the borders of the print to the inside of the image
– an image which breaks the frame. The medical photo escapes from the clinical
canon. The object of scientific observation becomes the subject of a mutational
Photographs, performances, installations,
poetic and theoretical texts, sound pieces, radio broadcasts, artists’
books, computer graphics – the image/concept invaded our media and our
materials, orienting our visual research through a variety of technologies
– chemical, electronic, digital. As if mutation were its very language.
The emblematic photograph produces its
own mirrored time, just as it produces its own astral space. It produces
complexity. A multi-faceted mirror. A different body or a double?
M.K. - K.T.
A screen image, a two-in-one eidolon,
a virtual self-portrait of the double author – ourselves. In this mirror
process, the anonymous photographed subject participates as an active intuition.
Projections intersect and multiply; I
is an Other X The Other as I.
Different bodies, strangers. The difference
as Unheimliche. The Unheimliche as a site of the unconscious: an untamed
mirror of the self.
Paris, June 1994
Sigrid Schade editor, Linz, Offenes Kulturhaus - Wien, Passagen Verlag,
,  Excerpts
from Incendie de l’Ange by Maria Klonaris
and Katerina Thomadaki, artist’s book, Paris, Editions Tierce, 1988
 Catherine Millot is
the author of Horsexe, Essai sur le Transsexualisme, Paris, Editions
Point Hors Ligne, 1983