Je suis né homme-putain
For its second Molinier exhibit, the Galerie Kamel Mennour has chosen to present the original writings, drawings and photomontages from the artist’s personal notes and notebooks. “It is with a sort of relief,” tells Jean-Luc Mercié, “that we discover Molinier as himself for the first time, alone, sobered up and free of make-up.”
A fetishist and transvestite artist born in 1900, Pierre Molinier created astounding self-portraits, until the year 1976 when he committed suicide by shooting himself in the mouth. Painted or photographed, extremely sophisticated in both staging and technique, his works of art span the entire spectrum of self-eroticism. In addition to the original drawings and preparatory sketches of well-known works, the “Je suis né hommeputain” exhibit will present experimental photography that has never been shown to this day: proofs ripped up for photomontages, ghostly or ectoplasmic portraits, touched up prints and an untrimmed Shaman (one of the three known copies). Hand-written pages and notebooks complete the exhibit. Photography especially is what allowed Pierre Molinier to assuage his hermaphrodite fantasies and create himself both a new body and a new identity. By means of self-staging, travesty, cut-outs, collage, superposition and special effects, Molinier portrayed himself as a hybrid and unisex creature, man-woman in one body and one soul, in black and white self-portraits that are as intimist as they are immodest. We often find the artist naked, his penis erect or hidden between his thighs, wearing a mask, basque, falsies, garter belt, stockings and high heels… And so Pierre Molinier’s photomontages and pictorial works of art abound in inextricably intermingling bodies and limbs that are made up and accessorized. Pierre Molinier’s autobiographical work is now even more topical than ever, to the extent that it touches on different veins of travesty, self-staging, fetishism and questions of identity and genre.
The book/catalogue “Pierre Molinier. Je suis né homme-putain”, a Kamel Mennour/Biro éditeur copublication, brings together all of the artist’s writings that were unknown until now. This collection of his manuscripts, diverse notes, and personal notebooks embellished with drawings finally gives Pierre Molinier his turn to speak. His words jump out at us from the scattered texts in which he writes of himself, his art, and his erotic, artistic and political likes and dislikes. All of these words help piece together the puzzle of a life devoted to a radical and subversive eroticism.
Parallel to this exhibit, the Bordeaux Museum of Fine Arts will be presenting “Pierre Molinier – Jeux de miroirs” from 23 September to 20 November 2005. This retrospective will give particular focus to the works from the Shaman series and his creatures, as well as endeavour to create ties and establish a possible affiliation with 27 other artists (including Kader Attia, Claude Cahun, Luciano Castelli, EVA & ADELE, Michel Journiac, Jürgen Klauke, Cindy Sherman and Alberto Sorbelli).