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Annette Messager "Fictions, temptations, manipulations"

25 June – 15 August, 2010

The project was presented within the framework of the Year of Russia in France and of France in Russia 2010

Annette Messager is undoubtedly a star of contemporary art, not only in France but world-wide. She has won the Grand Prize of the Venice Biennale 2005 ¦ the Golden Lion for her installation "Casino". The exhibition showed all the periods of the famous French artist’s creative activity to the Russian audience.

Among the generation of women-painters, who made the contemporary art history by reaching an equal footing with their male colleagues, Annette Messager is an icon. Before 1970s women could join the artistic world only as partners, muses and models. Annette revolutionized this artistic world though now she says: "We must stop speaking about "female" or "male" art. Only art by itself worthy of discussion."

The debut of the artist coincided with the period of change in public consciousness associated with student riots in Paris in 1968.  In the atmosphere of radicalism, she said that art can be found in the street, it can deal with tasks of everyday life, not just exist in the closed space of a Museum.

The exhibition included the objects, created by Annette Messager in 1970s, at the very beginning of her artistic career. These installations, which consist of numerous photographs, as well as objects and paintings, have been collected as series illustrating the stereotypes world characteristic of the XX century women. This project also included monumental and theatrical works of 1980s and 1990s, as well as various mechanical installations. In addition to these works, Messager made a new installation especially for the Moscow exhibition.

The main criterion for selection of the works for the exhibition was the aim to present the key themes of her art - sexual and physical violence, fragmentation of the body, sin, obsession, fairy tales, children, stuffed objects, concealment, distortion, recurrence. Her works often contained "female" materials and techniques. The main aim of the exhibition did not include showing the work of the artist in the chronological order, but rather focusing on the aesthetic and thematic unity of Annette Messange’s art.

Organizers: The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation; CULTURESFRANCE; Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow; the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation

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