Annette Messager AnalysisAnnette Messager set out to become an artist in her 20s. At a time where her only role models were male, Messager chose to embrace her gender. To interpret life through the eyes of a woman –love, beauty, pain, power. In 2005, Messager represented France at the Venice Biennal, winning the prize for best national pavilion.
This photograph, ‘My Vows’ consists of many photographs attached and hanging by what looks like string. All of the photographs have a black frame around them which helps to define each image. The photographs all contain black and white images of different body parts; chins, feet, lips, hands, eyes, tongues and noses. As far as I can tell, the photographs are a mixture of both women and men as some of the chins have hair on and others look quite slender. None of the photographs show enough of the person to be able to identify
I was not able to find a meaning for this collection of photographs. Therefore, as you are not able to identify an individual by looking at one photograph, maybe Messager was trying to hint on that we do not have an identity from our looks but that we create them through our personalities. Also, looking at the name of this piece, ‘The Vows’, and looking at the collection of photographs, it could mean that ‘wedding vows’ are more than just words as a couple would also be committing their bodies to each other and not just their hearts. The close ups of the various body parts could simply just be to show the delicacy of the human body.
I personally really like this piece. The sheer number of photographs that are hanging make a very positive impact for me, as they seem to impose more than just a few hanging photographs would. The whole piece has a heavy feel to it but is still very interesting due to the variety of photographs shown.