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Les Tortures Volontaires

Les Tortures Volontaires, 1972/2013 - Annette Messager

Les Tortures Volontaires, 1972/2013

Annette Messager  

2 copies of x 19 x 14 cm / 0.79 x 7.48 x 5.51 inch
Set of two unique photographs, signed by the artist

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  • Medium: Two gelatin-silver prints in passe-partout 
  • Comes with Annette Messager's 2013 publication Les Tortures Volontairespresented together in a handmade clamshell box
  • This work is unframed
  • Ships in 5 to 10 business days from Germany

about this work

For her 1972 work Les Tortures Volontaires (The voluntary tortures), Annette Messager collected diverse images from magazines and advertising, some of which are amusing, while others are almost frightening. Although these motifs are from the early 1970s, Messager’s theme - the many procedures we undergo to make ourselves look more “beautiful,” our self-images, and our notions of beauty - is still very au courant. She herself writes: “Today bodies and faces are remodeled, redesigned, dreamed up, but still standardized according to the collective criteria of our contemporary society. Unlike wine, which alters and develops its full bouquet as it ages, we human beings continually fight against this natural process of time.”

The work from 1972 consists of a wall installation of black-and-white photographs and an Album Collection. Only recently has Messager discovered another set of 81 prints from 1972. Taking advantage of this discovery, this series is published in its entirety by Hatje Cantz. For this limited edition one gelatin silver print will be made of each negative, and its size and mounting will be based on the 1972 originals. Each edition is made up of two motifs, presented with the book in an elaborate fold-out set.

about Annette Messager

Annette Messager embarked on her artistic career amid the tumultuous climate surrounding the May 1968 student uprisings in Paris. It was in this atmosphere of radicalism that she discovered that art could be found in the streets and in the tasks of everyday life, rather than solely within the cloistered realm of the museum. Some of her early pieces—such as Boarders at Rest (1971–72), in which she clothed dozens of embalmed sparrows in tiny hand-knit sweaters, and My Collection of Proverbs (1974), a selection of mostly misogynistic phrases about women hastily embroidered on unhemmed squares of cloth—use modest materials and techniques commonly associated with domesticity and often devalued as “women’s work.” Her nostalgia-laden gestures belie the subversive messages of social concern in her art, in which the conflict between nature and civilization and the lack of sexual equality in society are recurrent themes.

(courtesy of the Guggenheim Museum)

Her work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, at venues such as MOCA, Sydney; K21, Dusseldorf; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Monterrey; MoMA, New York; Le Consortium, Dijon; The Art Institute, Chicago; and Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Messager also participated in group exhibitions at CAPC, Bordeaux; Grand Palais, Paris; Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; MCA, Chicago; Guggenheim, New York; Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev; Kunstmuseum Bern; and Parasol Unit, London.
She was part of the Biennales of Moscow, Seville, Havana, Sao Paulo, Lyon, Sydney and Venice.In 2005 she won the Golden Lion for her Pinocchio-inspired installation that transformed the French pavilion in Venice into a casino.

Annette Messager is represented by the following gallery;
click through to discover more of her work.

Marian Goodman Gallery, New York / Paris 

Learn more about this artist