Collages & photomontages
On an ordinary afternoon in the 60’s in Bordeaux, a conservative town, in an art studio, on Faussets street, a man is willingly admiring himself in his psyche, adjusting his tie, with an impassive face, he observes his impeccable collar for a moment, puts a hat on, drawing it to the side, takes a satisfied pose.
Around him, a multitude of objects make a complex and unexpected environment, a pair of plaster legs is balanced from the ceiling thanks to a thread,“Le Christ aux outrages"-"The insulted Christ"- is posing next to a crop and a box of sedatives on the table, earplugs to track the least of sounds from an unbearable routine, dozens of low-fronted shoes whose heels will never be high enough, on the floor.
Perched on a shelf, a 24x30 darkroom testifies a prone to surrealism photographic work, masks and eye masks with corrective lenses, fake breasts and a hundred brand new stockings, totally devoted to a devouring fetish.
He suddenly bends over, grabs a postcard representing Pie XII kissing Christ’s feet and he reads a note from a friend on the backside: “ Fetish are not the ones one would think of “.
He laughs, turns around to face the main room,a theatre for countless pictures.He looks at the original montages, enters the secrets of his creation and deciphers his art.
He methodically makes portraits of separate elements, heads, arms ,and reconstructs an idealized body, he places his composition between two sheets of glass, modifies it by hand and takes a picture of it again (Photoshop’s sensual ancestor ??) At each stage, he accurately adds heads, makes some minutely detailed cut-out figures,works fishnet with a black pencil on proofs, sets his face on Hanel’s, she 20, he’s 65 when they meet.
He has a look at a friend’s work-in-progress : buttocks, adjusted to a body, the one of his transsexual friend Skindô, he sighs, observes without blinking “L’Etoile des six”-“ The star of the six” –his largest reversible collage then searches for ”La grande mélée”-“The great mélée”, his culminating artwork, the most sophisticated he’s done as a photomontage artist .
Fascinated by two new selfportraits, he frowns, stares at one ,a little daring, the other is chaster, he thinks for a moment and chooses the chaster, as often for a publication
At that moment, his attention is distracted by Divine, the cat his friend André Breton gave him as a present..
The black mass is lying in the middle of a magical circle of a pentacle on the floor, he steps back and and considers the circle drawn by a masonic pair of compasses-crossed rope, it isn’t the work of a man but the one of a shaman, inescapable and unchanging ritual ! He settles in the centre of the magical centre to find inspiration and change the world under the effect of cosmic flux.Identifying with an Eskimo shaman has a wonderful mystical effect on this person: Androgynous.
A ray of light enters the room and crosses it ,lights “La poupée"- "The doll"- from “L’hommage à la marguerite"- “ Tribute to the daisy”-dressed and made-up by him, he lingers and observes his fixed ans still expression- then he turns to the window, checks his watch, fixes his jacket and crosses the room. Finally, he opens the entrance door to go out and meet the sunday-dressed bourgeoisie from Bordeaux.
The man meets an elegant lady, and just like a perfect dandy, pretends to reach for his hat, changes his mind and, in a provocative gesture he favoured, reaches for his mouth and takes his denture off to greet her.
Pierre Molinier could have been a novel’s character, unwanted and transgressive artist, for a right-thinking society, he was one of those who have to transvestite the truth to fully experience one’s androgynous living, many photographs he’s the key hero of, symbolize his conciliation of conflicting opposites. Lover of a duplication game , he has tiredlessly created creatures of multiple metamorphosis.
Jean-Luc Mercié & Kamel Mennour
Book Pierre Molinier / Les presses du réel
Gallery Kamel Nemmour, librairy centre Pompidou, Artcurial
Oeuvres Inédites / Collages & photomontages
Report Sabine Morandini
Galerie Kamel Mennour
47 rue Saint-André des arts
60, rue Mazarine
Paris 75006 France
tel +33 1 56 24 03 63