«To walk through his door didn’t mean wandering into a fringe world, it meant crossing the threshold of another world » Bourgeade wrote regarding Pierre Molinier, a tutelary figure of this exhibition.
This « other world » is that of self-eroticism, of personality games, of the domestic space as a theatre for the most intimate fantasies. In this space, all variations are conceivable, the roles aren’t as set as they are on the outside : in the shadowy light of the home, reality can reflect many surprises.
Pierre Molinier (1900 – 1976), of course, is a cornerstone of this adventure into the « other world ». This pioneer of bodyart, this virtuoso of photomontages mixing up identities, is here accompanied by an imaginary double, Marcel Bascoulard (1913 – 1978), the bum from Bourges. As he was 18 years old, he witnessed his father’s murder by his beloved mother. His entire life, he refused to « work », living in makeshift homes and spending his days studying (railway engineering, geography, the history of women’s fashion…) and drawing obsessively deserted views of the city, transformed under his pen, into a morbid and ghostly territory. From a good-looking teenager to a coarsefeatured middle-aged man, Marcel Bascoulard repeatedly took self portraits in women’s clothing, usually skillfully designed by him, using pre-determined « poses », each duly archived.
These « transformed self-portraits » by Molinier and Bascoulard introduce, in the exhibition, an entire section attributed to « photographs of identities », plural, bringing together Morton Bartlett’s or Hans Bellmer’s illustrated fantasies using dolls and mannequins, those of Julien Carreyn, John Kayser, Miroslav Tichy, claiming as their own the images of more or less consenting accomplices, those of Eugene Von Bruenchenhein changing his wife Marie into a household pinup, using Christmas decorations, or those of Michel Journiac, playing incest scenes with his parents.
Finally, « Sexe au Logis » (Phonetic wordplay with « Sexology », literally meaning « Sex in one’s dwellings »), a plea for an assertive and ever-present sexuality, blossoms in the gallery’s great nave. One of Hélène Delprat’s monumental paintings presides, filled with artificial creatures destined to solitary pleasures, next to large black and white Betty Tompkins, a penetration cinema close-up, and to images of pin-ups slipped from the internet and captured by Roe Etheridge and Thomas Ruff’s lenses.
All in all, through these various « stations », « Uniques en leurs genres » offers to explore the implications of Jacques Lacan’s statement : « we are all agreed that love is a form of suicide ».
Curated by: Stéphane Corréard
Pierre Molinier // Photographies et œuvres sur papier
Photos d’Identités // with Morton BARTLETT, Eugene Von BRUENCHENHEIM, Hans BELLMER, Julien CARREYN, Michel JOURNIAC, John KAYSER, Boris MIKHAÏLOV, Miroslav TICHY
Sexe au Logis // with Hélène DELPRAT, Roe ETHRIDGE, Joan RABASCALL, Thomas RUFF, Betty TOMPKINS