Michel Journiac
Antrepo No.3
Feriköy Greek School

1935, Paris-1995, Paris

From the mid-1960s to the mid-1990s Michel Journiac produced paintings, photographs, objects, performance props and films that staged and parodied society's rigid binary structure. The founder of the 1960s and 1970s Body Art Movement in France he dismantled the so-called 'he-man' ideal of Nouveau Réalisme.
In Homage to Freud (1972-84) the artist uses the style of the family portrait, and poses disguised as his parents, next to their original photographs. The work is structured in a chiastic way and can be read using Sigmund Freud's theory of the Oedipus complex. In one diagonal, mother and son build an Oedipal axis of possessive desire that is emphasised by the son imitating the father. Through the second diagonal, the fictitious daughter caricatures the hetero-normative matrix that exclusively projects sexual fantasies onto the opposite sex.
The strategy of appropriating and disordering gender roles is visible in the cycle of staged photographs 24 Hours in the Life of an Ordinary Woman (1974-94). The work shows scenes from the life of a middle-aged, married, lower middle class woman, following three narrative threads, depicting 'reality', such as Husband wakes up, Housework, Arriving at work, 'dreams', such as Dream: Waiting, and Dream: lover, and 'fantasies', such as Maternity, The virtuous young Virgin, The Whore, The Feminist. These portrayals of Journiac in drag in scenes based on stereotypes from women's magazines retain their ability to upset the hegemonic discourse of class, gender and identity.