Annette Messager: Word For Word Texts, Writings, and Interviews

Annette Messager: Word For Word Texts, Writings, and Interviews

by Annette Messager
     
 

Texts and words are of crucial importance to Annette Messager's work--for her, "words are images." And so words--at once autonomous from, parallel to, and the sources of her visual creativity--are woven throughout her production. She has looked directly at our diverse relationships to language in forms ranging from the early scrapbooks of the 1970s to the large…  See more details below

Overview

Texts and words are of crucial importance to Annette Messager's work--for her, "words are images." And so words--at once autonomous from, parallel to, and the sources of her visual creativity--are woven throughout her production. She has looked directly at our diverse relationships to language in forms ranging from the early scrapbooks of the 1970s to the large sculpted words of the late 1990s, and others including personal diaries, letters, calligraphy, alphabets and primers. She works with the repeated, drawn, framed and sculpted word; newsprint, collage and montage of texts and photographs; and handwritten texts. Plays on words and palindromes turn up in her exhibition titles and, more recently, in her children's books. All of these uses of language stem as much from Dada and Surrealism as from the aesthetics of the banal and the everyday, and they give rise to unclassifiable texts, which call somewhere between a literature of the news item or photo-essay and poetic maxims for personal use. Messager's frequent recourse to copying down and to repetition then serves as a kind of exorcism: in those cases, writing is something like sewing, with a soothing function. The first section of Word for Word focuses on writing in Annette Messager's artworks. The second includes numerous texts published in magazines or catalogues, as well as unpublished notes on her work and personal reflections on art and life. All of her interviews from 1974 to the present are also included.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

For French conceptual artist Annette Messager (b. 1943), words are central, and writing is akin to sewing, albeit with many pricks of the needle. Editor Bernadac's book reflects this busy metaphor. The intimate and the public, the playful and the critical are stitched together, their boundaries sometimes indistinguishable and always a little surreal. This is, of course, the point—not only of Messager's art, which has made her one of France's best-known living artists, but also of any project that sets out to archive it. Messager's oeuvre is framed here through nearly 300 mostly color illustrations and text, including 17 interviews with esteemed art historians and critics (e.g., Robert Storr, Suzanne Pagé), previously unpublished artist's notes, and more than 30 years of diverse work. Her painting, writing, collage, installations, and film turn typically "feminine" hobbies on their head, compulsively repurposing diary writing, needlework, cooking, scrapbooking, and more. Getting a sense of autonomous projects is as tricky as navigating Messager's notes. This may be a boon for both preserving Messager's cryptic allure and encouraging multiple readings of the book. For its bibliographical compendium and sheer exposure to Messager's world, this is an important resource for contemporary art collections.
—Prudence Peiffer

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933045351
Publisher:
D.A.P./Les Presses du Reel
Publication date:
06/01/2006
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 10.40(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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