Michel Journiac


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French artist whose work dealt with issues of the body, sexuality, mortality and religion. He was born in Paris and originally studied theology and philosophy. In 1969 he held a Mass for a Body, a religious ceremony in which he offered his own blood, in the form of a sausage (boudin), to the public. He also provided the recipe. Body Contract (1972) allowed the art lover to become a work of art. The two conditions were, first, to bequeath your body to Journiac and, second, to die. There were three choices available: A) painting—the skeleton was to be lacquered white; B) object—the skeleton was to be dressed in the subject's clothes; C) sociological—the skeleton was to be coated in gold. In contrast to the chaotic mess of the Vienna Actionists, whose preoccupation with blood, pain and death he shared, Journiac's rituals were as highly ordered as a Catholic service.

Further Reading

E. Filipovic, ‘Michel Journiac’, Frieze, issue 85 (September 2004)

Subjects: Art.

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