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Michel Journiac

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Title: Michel Journiac  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: François Pluchart, Sociological art, Body art
Collection: 1935 Births, 1995 Deaths, French Contemporary Artists, French Photographers, Lgbt Artists from France
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Michel Journiac

Michel Journiac (1935–1995) [1] was one of the founders of the 1960s and 1970s Body Art movement in France, called "Art corporel". During these years, many artists started to use the human body as their material. Accordingly, this artist used his own body to perform rituals which he documented through photography or video. His work can be compared to those of Vito Acconci, French artist Gina Pane or Austrian artists of the Viennese Actionism.

It was through his photographic works, his actions and installations, that Michel Journiac, a gay man, attacked society's stereotypes, defended those who existed outside of daily society, and challenged traditional moral values.[2]

His most famous action is probably Messe pour un corps (Mass for a Body) (1969) a parody of catholic liturgy where he officiated as a priest, offering the audience pieces of blood sausage made with his own blood.

Michel Journiac also wrote two poetry books, Le Sang nu (Naked Blood) (1968) and Délit du corps (Crime of the Body) (1978) and many articles, especially in French art journal ArTitudes.


Selected works

  • Piège pour un voyeur (Trap for a Voyeur), installation, 1969
  • Messe pour un corps (Mass for a Body), performance, 1969
  • Hommage à freud (Tribute to Freude), photographic series, 1972
  • Piège pour un travesti (Trap for a Transvestite), photographic series, 1972
  • Contrat de prostitution (Prostitution Contrac), installation, 1973
  • 24 heures de la vie d’une femme ordinaire ( 24 Hours in the Life of an Ordinary Woman), photographic series, 1974
  • L’inceste (The Incest), photographic series, 1975
  • Rituel de transmutation (Transmutation Ritual), performance, photography1993

Articles about Michel Journiac

Sarah Wilson, « Michel Journiac's Masquerades, Incest, Drag and the Anti-Oedipus », 2003 in Benthien, Claudia, Stephan, Inge (dir.) Mannlichkeit als Maskerade. Gender Studien mit blick auf ‘den' Mann, Köln, Böhlau Verlag, 2003, p. 128-153. (Article consultable sur le site :

External Links

  • A website about Michel Journiac's work
  • Michel Journiac on IMDB
  • A detailed consideration of Michel Journiac on Frieze Magazine, September 2004.


  1. ^ Bio (French) retrieved 29 August 2010
  2. ^ Scott, Katie; Arscott, Caroline (2000). Manifestations of Venus. Manchester University Press. pp. 156–172.  

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