Was Le Petomane alternative, or performance Art?

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What genre was Le Petomane

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Was Le Petomane alternative, or performance Art?

Post  pinhedz on Sun May 29, 2011 4:42 am

Eddie
Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:23 am

Niche acts rarely get more niche than this fellow:



Professional flatulist Joseph Pujol, c 1890.

From Wiki:

Le Pétomane (pronounced /ləˈpɛtəmeɪn/, French pronunciation: [ləpetɔˈman]) was the stage name of the French flatulist (professional farter) and entertainer Joseph Pujol (June 1, 1857 - 1945). He was famous for his remarkable control of the abdominal muscles, which enabled him to fart at will. His stage name combines the French verb péter, "to fart" with the -mane, "-maniac" suffix, which translates to "fartoholic". The profession is also referred to as "flatulist", "farteur", or "fartiste".[1]
It is a common misconception to state that Joseph Pujol actually farted as part of his stage performance. Farting implies the release through the anus of intestinal gases. Pujol was "gifted" in the sense that he was able to inhale air into his rectum and then control the release of that air using his sphincter muscles. Evidence of his ability to control those muscles can be seen in the early accounts of demonstrations of his abilities to fellow soldiers.


Eddie

Joseph Pujol - Le Petomane



"Ladies and gentlemen, I have the honour to present a session of Petomanie."

In such a manner, Joseph Pujol introduced petomanie on the stage of the Moulin Rouge. What was it about an obscure performer that drew Parisians in their thousands to the premier variety theatre?

How could a virtual unknown outsell the legendary Sarah Bernhardt and have theatre audiences paralysed with laughter, tears running down their eyes and cheeks? To understand this late 19th Century phenomenon, it is necessary to describe something that years ago would not have found its way into print. In short, Pujol farted.

Joseph Pujol was born at nine o'clock in the evening on June 1, 1857. His parents, Francois Pujol, a stonemason, and Rose Demaury, were of Catalan origin but settled in Marseilles. They had five children, of whom Joseph was the eldest.

At 13, he was apprenticed to a baker and, having completed his training, Francois set him up in his own shop in the Quartier Saint Charles Chuttes-Lavie, where now there is a street which bears his name - Rue Pujol.

It was during national service that Joseph Pujol discovered his unusual talent for petomanie, or farting. As a crude entertainment for his comrades, he would inhale vast quantities of water through his rear, expelling it in a giant fountain. Further experiments allowed him to duplicate his water trick using air instead.

However, his early forays into show business were as a comedy musician, the 'yokel with the trombone'. It was only with the encouragement of friends that he adapted his more unusual artistic skills to the theatre and took the name 'Le Petomane' - the Fartiste.

He gave his first professional performance in 1887, aged 30, at the Boulevard Chavre. It was an immediate success.

He developed the act in the provinces until he reached Paris in 1892. Insisting on seeing no one else, he persuaded the director of the Moulin Rouge, M Vidler, to engage him. From the first night he was a sensation.

He took the stage in a costume of red coat, a red silk collar and black satin breeches. He began by explaining each impersonation that was to follow.

"This is a little girl... this is a bride on her wedding night (small noise) ... the morning after (loud rasping noise) ... a dressmaker tearing calico (ten seconds of ripping cloth) ... and this a cannon (loud thunder)."

The audience were at first astounded. Then there would be an uncontrollable laugh, followed by more until the whole audience was wriggling in their seats, convulsed. Women, bound rigid in corsets, were escorted from the hall by nurses, cleverly placed by the manager so that they could he seen in their bright white uniforms.

Pujol embarked on a highly successful tour of Petomanie through Europe and North Africa. On his return, he split from the Moulin Rouge and formed his own variety company at the Pompadour Theatre.

He continued to top the bill there until Europe launched into a madness of its own in 1914. His sons were mobilised and Pujol never went back to the theatre. He settled in Marseilles to run his bakeries and then moved to Toulon where he established a thriving biscuit factory.

There have been few acts to rival Le Petomane. Joseph Pujol had used to the full a talent which nature had bestowed on him. That he has slipped into obscurity says more about our sensibilities than the performer's art.

Pujol died in Toulon in 1945, shortly after the allied landing. He survived his wife Elizabeth by 15 years, leaving ten children and countless grandchildren. In remembering him, his eldest surviving son, Louis said: 'In the course of his long life, he had given of his best.'

© John Barber - originally published in The Stage 29 May 1997


Eddie

Leonard Rossiter in Le Petomane 1979.


Petomane biopic clip, 2006.



pinhedz

Like the long line of great inventors and researchers that includes Alexander Flemming, Louis de Broglie, and countless others, this great man saw the way to turn mishap into innovation.

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Re: Was Le Petomane alternative, or performance Art?

Post  eddie on Sun May 29, 2011 7:46 am

I can't think why I'd forgotten this bloke.

I voted "Performance Art"- and this thread really ought to be in that section.

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Re: Was Le Petomane alternative, or performance Art?

Post  pinhedz on Mon May 30, 2011 6:49 am

Surprisingly few votes for "alternative," as in alternative music. I had always understood that Le Petomane was primarily a music act, and much more bon ton than someone like Mr. Methene, who is no more than a clown.

I was going to post a pic of Mr. Methene here, but that would have been très gauche.

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Re: Was Le Petomane alternative, or performance Art?

Post  pinhedz on Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:23 am

The great man in performance, but don't thank me, thank Thomas Edison (the audio doesn't work for me, but maybe it will work for you):


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Re: Was Le Petomane alternative, or performance Art?

Post  pinhedz on Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:37 am

Is true greatness planned? Did Alexander Flemming set out to create penicillin? Did Louis de Broglie set out to discover the wave nature of electrons?

No--true greatness has always been the result of the great man's recognition that what appears to be a failing might actually be discovery of benefit to mankind.

Flemming saw that his bacteria culture had been contaminated by mold; he night have just thrown it out and learned the lesson that he must keep his petrie dishes clean and well covered.

But his greatness was in realizing that he had not just ruined a bacteria culture, he had made a great discovery. cheers

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Re: Was Le Petomane alternative, or performance Art?

Post  pinhedz on Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:37 am


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Re: Was Le Petomane alternative, or performance Art?

Post  pinhedz on Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:15 am

pinhedz wrote:Is true greatness planned? Did Alexander Flemming set out to create penicillin? Did Louis de Broglie set out to discover the wave nature of electrons?
I realize I failed to elaborate on De Broglie--my bad.

A lesser man--a man lacking imagination and creative genius--might have just thrown up his hands and moaned "This dad-blasted thing doesn't work!" Mad

But De Broglie had the vision to ask himself "Hmm, I wonder if maybe there isn't some kind of wave-particle duality angle to exploit here." drunken

And that's what puts De Broglie in the same class of genius as Le Petomane. Cool


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Re: Was Le Petomane alternative, or performance Art?

Post  pinhedz on Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:01 am


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