Pudique Publique, or Public Modesty was an exhibition by Annette Messager at the Valencian Institute of Modern Art, IVAM. I hadn’t heard of her before, but it turns out she makes some pretty fascinating installations.
A few notes I scribbled at the gallery below …
Interesting to think about what’s forbidden now, and what was forbidden in the past and how things change. Rules are a moment in time, speak of a particular context …
Zooming in you can see some of the signs Messager has collected/reproduced. From left to right, a few that jump out – no dog pooing, no google glasses, no sex in the spa, no laptops, no bbq-ing, no long hair, no swinging on ski lift, no matches, no wine when pregnant, no fast food, no shooting, no drink-driving, no tattoos, no music.
The more you look, the more fascinating it is…
> Dangling floaty things
Actual title = Motion/Emotion. 2009-13
I like the movement, how all around you compositions in space happen for a moment, then change, and the interplay of the shadows, And little stories, like the ‘couple’ holding hands.
> Uterus Room
My initial feeling was it feels quite obvious, but actually I really enjoyed looking round it. Particularly all the delicate floating uteruses (uteri?).
And why shouldn’t she obsess over one female body part. She captures that f*ck off feeling well … I’m pretty sure all women feel that about the world sometimes!
> The weird dark illuminated thing
Initially I wasn’t that interested, but slowly it came to life and I found myself drawn in … There was movement, light, air and I think it’s a very human thing to want to know what is going to happen next …
And the whole thing is quite absurd, it serves no practical purpose, isn’t obviously anything. I can’t put in on the wall, or use it to decorate my house. But it’s interesting. Maybe this is the most important thing in society. To produce a human thing, just because. Art. Also maybe the thing that makes it absurd is the lack of context. What is it, what does it relate to, is there a start, middle and end? How long should I look at it for, well a little while going by the pretty sketchy video below…
(And next time I’ll learn not to flip to horizontal half way through the video!)
You can read more about Annette Messager here, in this review of a retrospective at the Hayward Gallery, London in 2009.