Softcover (contained within carboard box)
240 x 330 mm
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 remodelled, redesigned, dreamed up, but still standardised 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 the Artist
Annette Messager was born in Berk-sur-Mer in 1943. She lives and works in Malakoff, just south of Paris. From the 1970s onward, Annette Messager’s work has been known for a heterogeneity of form and subject matter, ranging from the personal to the fictional, the social to the universal. Through an embrace of everyday materials, and principles of assemblage, collection and theatrical display, her diverse media has included construction, documents, language, objects, taxidermy, drawings, photographs, fabric, embroidery, image collections, albums, sculpture and installation. Messager has explored fairy tales, mythology and doppelgangers throughout her œuvre. Often using reminiscence and memory as a vehicle for inspiration, Messager’s wide range of hybrid forms has had an affinity with traditions as varied as the romantic, the grotesque, the absurd, the phantasmagoric.
About the Publisher
Hatje Cantz is a German book publisher specialising in photography, art, architecture and design. It was established in 1945 by Gerd Hatje and has offices in Stuttgart and Berlin. Hatje Cantz Verlag has a backlist of nearly 800 titles.