French, 1935 — 1995
Born in Paris, Michel Journiac (1935-1995) is one of the inventors of body art. His poetic and subversive work contains a critical reflection on social mores through a practice of performance and photography. Bursting spectacularly and provocatively into the art world with his Messe pour un corps (1969), Journiac distributed fake Hosts made from black pudding mixed with his own blood. His works and actions aimed to reverse the rituals conditioning bodies into objects, moulded at will by society. Cross-dressing became a way for him to question the identity, rituals and codes that condition bodies and individuals.