France born 1943
Mes voeux [My vows]
Materials & Technique: photographs, installation, gelatin silver photographs, colour pencil on paper, string
The bodily fragments in Mes voeux are intended to recall ex-votos – objects, often in the shape of limbs or torsos, left as offerings to saints in fulfilment of a vow or in gratitude for recovery from an illness or injury – that Messager encountered as a young woman in southern European churches. The work reflects Messager’sbroader interest in religious iconography, though here the vows suggest the exchange of somewhat more secret promises. The extreme close-up views of the body, piled one on top of the other, speak of a somewhat claustrophobic, obsessive preoccupation.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra