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Annette Messager - The Messengers

19.04.2009 11:16

This was a very powerful exhibition of a totally different kind

puppets
What to do on a sunny Sunday afternoon? …Hayward gallery was calling to see the retrospective of Annette Messager. I had never heard of her or seen any of her work before but have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The artist plays with creating whole worlds that force you to delve in, to get involved interactively, leaving you with an estranged sensation at times. At the beginning of the show you are being offered a feely bag, a black bag containing all sorts of materials which one can then start exploring manually. A big part of the artists work is based on collections, working with a large variety of materials amongst others, cut up toys and childrens costumes, clothes and unravelled wool. One of the pieces that stand out the most was created with balloons that the artist shaped in the forms of human organs and that are being arranged in a room and inflated with air at intervals, giving the impression of a huge breathing garden, playing with the evolving of each shape as the air blows through. Another key piece is a collection of stuffed birds which are arranged on mirrors high under the ceiling, whose heads are replaced with heads of toy animals. They look unworldly yet intrinsically beautiful. One leaves the exhibition immersed into these creations, truly inspired. Highly recommendable.

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