FRAGMENTS OF AN EXO LIFE
« TO THOSE WHO HAVE DECIDED NOT TO DIE » ©Hors Humain
It’s January 13th, 1944 in the labor camp, Halle Saale that Exo Human was first born amidst the devastating blast of bombs. His entire childhood was transpierced by series of respiratory seizures. Through an incredible will to exist, he sought to find clues to the Last Breath…his very own West Side Story, this last battling wave of all Breath-Audacity became his refuge.
At the age of 10, Exo Human laid on the train tracks and waited—“just to see”. It would be the first link in a long chain of “tests”.
Thirty years later, in 1984, cameras on him, he plunged, unprotected, from a helicopter into the glacial waters off Greenland. There he found a second birth, his seconds of eternity atop a pyramid of ice.
Adept at several martial arts, he even won seventeen highest-level combats.
All the chapters of his life, including all the “dares” he set himself that punctuated it, made him into an athlete, a Poet, a singular Artist.
Since his exploit in Greenland’s icy waters, and myriad other “extreme” experiences (a dive into the pollution between two Parisian barges, mastering edges onto emptiness, urban guerilla physical training with his group “Vital Combat” by way of song, dance, combat sports and theater), Exo Human has never ceased to deepen his knowledge of the Art of the electrifying Last Breath.
For Exo Human, Breath is his entire existence—a search every instant, an in-depth study for sensitive, direct experiences. He refers to himself as an alchemist of the air, a physiologist of the double.
Barefoot, always, he keeps contact with telluric energies in the city concrete. He says, “All shoes are the anticipation of a disastrous destiny from womb to Tomb.”
He doesn’t defy Death, the shadow floating through the worn-out daily routine.
Death is an ally whom he asks to dance with at dawn, brushing against it, passing through it, giving it Breath…dodging it without stopping. He manages his bodies, like the coachman of the wind his horses, playing double stakes all-or-nothing, playing his Heart, tired and used by swathes of life’s ruthless trauma.
In permanent “Momentum-ism” and contagious joy, he grafts himself other hearts through a secret he holds in the Astral world that he is particularly fond of.
It’s a matter of magical, Dantesque Art, in a breeze of waves from the ionosphere.
Exo Human has written three books :
Hors Humain (2014) - [English version in preparation 2019]
Dialogue d’un partir poetique—Imaginocratie 1 – (1996 and 2008)
Combat Vital (1986)
On social media and the sidewalks of Paris, he regularly posts aphorisms and texts inspired by current events or more metaphysical questions in diverse forms (writings, declaiming texts, videos). What they all have in common: they are straight up, point blank whether it’s Philosophy or T.N.T.. Exo Human also produces and performs in stage plays that he writes or improvises.
Exo Human, is his own stage director as he haunts Paris and its labyrinths on a journey through the theater set of its architecture. He frequently involves himself in what humans call “performances”, but for him these are more appearances: in the city or in the countryside (at least what’s left of it), suspended from a bridge by his feet above Paris’s ring road, up high in the arches of the Austerlitz bridge or the Debilly footbridge (his Embassy for 35 years now), hanging over the cresting Seine, not to mention the gigantic Grangent dam (see video), or balanced on a glass. --And his favorite concerning immunity, the Parisian sewers where he does his voice practice.
ELITE BREATHER: HE SHOOTS WITH BREATH FASTER THAN HIS SHADOW!
In 1984, he accomplished three consecutive jumps from a helicopter at –2° C. in Greenland, thus establishing the world record for thermal shock. “EXo Human” is the “EXtraordinary name” which has been officially recognized on his French passport. Unofficially, he is an Elite Breather armed to his lungs in his clandestine liberty. Exo Human is both Dr. Frankenstein and the Creature he created, a pair which travels legally between two worlds.
AN AVANT-GARDE BREATHER WHO FLIRTS WITH CHAOS!
Artist, pioneer in intra-city training with “Combat Vital”—well before the Yamakazi and Parkour. Exo Human is a vegetarian, a love-scape for the goat and its horns—in terrifying goodwill--: smuggler of his “Electrifying Last Breaths” hanging from masts in a storm. Unique being, “Exo Time”, “Exo Eras”, he tears the veil of humanity’s insipid relics.
He strikes powerfully through his youthful bodies and youthful voice.
Over 75 years old, he hangs over the guts and cracks of a vertiginous Paris squeezing out their forbidden words.
Does The Poetic ask it…?
No, it demands it!
With finesse, subtlety and determination, Exo Human delivers multiple types of experiences dedicated to Beauty and the unlimited wealth that is the Air.
His second official passport: protection and immunity security detail at your feet, walking barefoot in Paris is an Exo Death pledge, winter and summer.
Isn’t all this written effervescence joyful?
For your good OL’ Heart, Ladies and Gentlemen.
WITH EXO HUMAN - (JULY 2019)
Hello Exo Human,
Thank you for granting this interview where I hope we can get to understand you and your work in greater depth.
You have been known in France for decades for your artistic performances of urban positioning, and myriad biting graffiti proverbs holding a magnification mirror up to humanity. Fewer people know of your prize-winning poetry and books, though. Your philosophical stance and artistic identity stem from the circumstances of your birth, hardship of your childhood wrought with illness which you surmounted with great difficulty culminating in a sort of mid-life “baptism” in the depths of Greenland’s icy waters with a spectacular jump from a helicopter to obtain the world record for thermal shock, and where, perhaps more importantly, you were reborn as Exo Human.
1984 - GREENLAND
WORLD RECORD ON THERMAL SHOCK by Exo Human
The variety and number of activities in your background are astounding. Perhaps a starting point into you and your work could be the origin of your name Exo Human (Hors Humain in French) which is on your passport and identity card, and how this second “christening” relates to your world-record in Greenland.
A series of childhood traumas led me to a sort of boycott of humanity’s structures, it’s tough, rigid nature. The pain, pressure and alienation was such that I had to flee, flee, flee as far as possible, and that was to leave humanity behind. But, don’t get me wrong, I am not against humanity—that would mean I had passionate involvement with it. I merely emancipated myself from humanity. You see, humanity had made one mistake with me. It put electro-shocks into my brain when I was seven years old. At first, I was totally blown away, humiliated by the series of abusive “treatments”. My brain actually hurt. Later, I realized that I had transformed this aggression into a rare strength. Other of my peers weren’t so lucky, succumbing to suicide faced with the mortal charge of the electricity. I got through it.
Before that, my very birth had taken place as American and British bombs rained down on the labor camp in Germany where my mother was in hopes of helping my father, a French resistant, who was in a nearby concentration camp. Ironically, it was these bombs with their blast overpressure, shock waves and blast wind that immediately set me on the path of breath and breathing. Why did I survive when the other children didn’t? The question has stayed with me ever since.
The bombs spoke to me. The breath I have is the blast wind of the bombs. The bombs whispered in my ear that it’s humans who destroy the earth, that destroy their own humanity. It was humans who dropped the bombs. Not Americans, not the British, not Germans, but all of humanity that put together bombs and send them everywhere around the planet.
The resulting respiratory seizures which constantly haunted my childhood ejected me from “the system” –a childhood of state-run boarding schools and psychiatric care. I never attended school. The accompanying pangs of abandonment and mistrust threw me into the arms of Nature. My solace was watching the butterflies, listening to the birds, wading in streams, kissing the earth, licking rocks. It saved me. Nature saved me. Everything that was not human saved me. I was afraid of humans.
I began jumping rope. It required subtlety and made me fly. The jump rope isn’t to build up one’s heart. It’s like the propeller of an airplane that helps one take flight. I jump ropes up and down stairs still today at nearly 76 years old.
Jumping rope is like a drug –to fly away, to escape, for deliverance. Rope is very interesting. You can hang yourself with it, or it can make you dance.
To deal with my constant respiratory seizures, I became an expert in…breathing --always gasping for air, finding subtle, personal ways to survive the lack of air.
So, later after factory work, then a stint as a military rescue frogman, performing in cabarets, having a successful pop single, prize-winning boxing, work as a magnetizer, and modeling, in 1984 at 40 years old, I managed to arrange a modeling gig as a jump in Greenland to test my claim of being the world’s best breather.
The profoundness of this death-defying experience I would describe as a resurrection, rather than a “christening”. I became the phoenix rising from my ashes. It epitomized a rebirth, leaving my old, rotten human ashes. The cold of the water at -2° C. burned my skin, it was my cremation. But I found the burning was actually the electric, anaerobic fluid energy I had been looking for. I left my ashes at the bottom of the sea with the polar bears and rose transformed. To get the right take, I had to jump three times that day—irresponsible on the part of the human organizers of the film shoot, but I managed. My expert breath forged during my youth fought the otherwise certain hypothermia, and won. Becoming the world record for thermal shock, this exploit is detailed in my book Combat Vital and in an award-winning adventure short film in the 1980s.
The meaning of this jump coalesced into emancipation. No violence, no aggressiveness, no bitterness towards humanity. I decided to leave disappointing, dysfunctional humanity --becoming Exo Human, but not inhuman. Self-destructive humanity is inhuman enough with itself. At first I felt sadness and disappointment at leaving humanity, but this emancipation led way to immense joy. My gigantic ego (king-size ego is my nickname) facilitated my metamorphosis.
13 JANUARY 1944
Born during a bombing of the German camp Halle : childhood in boarding schools
Electroshocks at the Lyon Medical-Legal Institute (l’Institut Médico Légal de Lyon) as “treatment” for respiratory convulsions.
Rebellious adolescence and first factory jobs in Lyon.
Rock drummer then pop singer signed with CBS. As a publicity stunt, he walks on a plane’s wing in flight with just a parachute as security.
1970s – 1980s
High-level Combat Sports.
Taught himself the Art of making his knives and his jump rope dance at l’orée des Lunes, to identify the direction of the Winds.
World record for thermal shock in Greenland.
Trains prestigious group, “Combat Vital” for seven years in Paris, at night.
First book, “Combat Vital”, published by Robert Laffont.
Publication of a collection of texts and poems: “Dialogue d’un Partir Poétique—Imaginocratie I”, [Dialogue of a Poetic Parting-Imaginocracy 1] registered at the National Library in Paris.
1990 – 2010
Directs and perfoms his own texts on stage at the theater in Paris (Petit Hébertot) and around France. Travel epicenters (Loch Ness: jump into the black waters in search of Nessie, Mauritania, Navajo reserves, the San Andreas fault line, Etna,Greece…)
13 JANUARY 2014
Third book published, Hors Humain [English version in progress.]
Inducted into the European Academy of Sciences and Literary Arts –with a diploma honoring Courage, and another for his entire body of poetic work.
Launch of his “Theater of the Waves” where the Electrifying Last Breath is King.
New website on line.