MoMA

THE COLLECTION

8,964 Artists and 54,062 Works Online

Choose your search filter(s) from the categories on the right, and then click Search.

You may select multiple filters.

Browse Artist Index »

Browse Art Terms Index »

White Gray Black

Search Results

Showing 1 of 1
Add to My Collection

Annette Messager (French, born 1943)

My Vows

Date:
1988-91
Medium:
Photographs, colored graphite on paper, string, black tape, and pushpins over black paper or black synthetic polymer paint
Dimensions:
Overall approximately 11' 8 1/4" x 6' 6 3/4" (356.2 x 200 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of The Norton Family Foundation
MoMA Number:
308.1992
Copyright:
© 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

The Modern Museum of Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999, p. 331

This work brings together hundreds of photographs, each of which presents a small part of a human body: mouths, ears, feet, noses, genitals, hands, breasts, and so on. Each hangs from a string, joining and partly obscuring others. Together they make a dense circle whose diameter is barely greater than the height of a person or the span of his or her arms. The individual elements—male and female, old and young, seductive and repellent—form a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Their physical, psychological, and sexual identities co-mingle in an inexhaustible variety of unpredictable relationships, which, together, overwhelm the stable patterns of our familiar arrangements.

Messager's Vows might be the passionate devotions of sexual love, or they might be the votive offerings of an old religion, hung in a chapel to ask for the healing of an ailing eye or limb. These divergent allusions are fused in this hybrid work—part photography and part sculpture.

Share by E-mail
Share by Text Message