Annette Messager

September 18, 2007 at 9:02 pm | Posted in art | Comments Off on Annette Messager
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Yesterday I saw this terrific Annette Messager exhibit at Pompidou.


This was actually not my favorite piece, but it was pretty much the only thing that was legal to photograph. The stuff I loved included loads of disembowled stuffed animals, a case of dead birds, each with a tiny knitted sweater or booties, an incredible room filled with giant, inflatable, pastel-colored body parts (hands, eyes, lips, but also internal organs) that slowly and rhythmically inflated and deflated… I could have sat and watched that for hours. But the piece de resistence was a large room filled with a giant silk cloth, buffeted by air currents being piped up from below. And underneath the cloth were barely visible assortments of children’s toys, body parts, fluoresent tubes… and there was an intense, Bergman-like clock presiding over the whole thing. These images don’t even begin to do it justice.

I gather that she’s married to Christian Boltanski, and I’d never heard of her before — but while I’ve always found his pieces a little dull and self-involved, I was really impressed by her exhibit. It seemed like a great example of how contemporary art can be feminist without necessarily being obvious, hyperpolitical, or shocking/disgusting. Reminded me of some Dorothea Tanning stuff I’ve liked in the past — creepy and unsettling, operating on a very unconscious level.

This youtube film gives some idea of the first piece, at least.


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