The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia presents Annette Messager’s first retrospective exhibition in Australia. It features works from the early 1970s to the present, including her large kinetic installations with mechanical and inflatable elements.
A diverse array of Messager’s works will be presented, employing everyday materials and objects including items of clothing, woollen gloves, black netting, soft toys and badges. Messager was awarded the prestigious Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005 for her large-scale kinetic installation Casino (2005). Inspired by the misadventures of the wooden marionette Pinocchio, in his quest to become a boy, this ambitious work forms a highlight of the exhibition. This survey of works will encompass the artist’s extensive practice across drawing, photography, embroidery, sculpture and installation.
Exhibition highlights include the artist’s Chimères — Chimeras (1982-84) or human-animal hybrids combining painting and photography; her black and white photographic assemblages of body parts and limbs entitled Mes voeux — My vows (1989); and the installation Les Lignes de la main — Lines of the hand (1988) with its hand-written texts that flow from photographs of outstretched palms, downwards onto the gallery wall below. Recent works include her vast kinetic installation Sans légende — Untitled (2011-12), a darkened cityscape punctuated by small rotating lights and shadow projections of a walking man, dog, and clock face that keeps real time, as though warning us of imminent danger.