Detail of Parade (Parade). 1995. Stuffed toys, taxidermized animals, netting, gelatin-silver prints under glass, and metal poles. Overall dimensions variable. Collection the artist, courtesy Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris. Other details of the work appear below.


In one of her most recent installations, Messager revisits her earlier themes of childhood and invention of a personal identity. The title Parade conjures up a procession of beings, perhaps the multiple personalities of Messager's earlier Album-collections. Here are the combinations of stuffed toys and taxidermized animals that appeared in some of her previous works.

             

In her most recent works, including The Pikes and Parade, Messager has conceived her work on a large scale, incorporating many different kinds of material into dramatic, scenographic installations. The play of these ensembles across space suggests the sweep of history and, particularly in Parade, intimates a place of confusion for the individual. Parade is a panoply of materials Messager has used in previous works: photographs, fabric, taxidermized animals, toys. A new element, a heavy black net, covers and obscures a number of elements, and Messager has playfully pointed out the aural similarity of the English "a net" and her own name. Caught in nets and raised up on pikes, these figures are sadly domesticated and defeated, and in combination with the photographs of childish faces, they recall a train of childhood experience that has been captured and put on parade for an unknown audience.

            Parade - 40K JPEG

                            

Detail of Parade (Parade). 1995. Stuffed toys, taxidermized animals, netting, gelatin-silver prints under glass, and metal poles. Overall dimensions variable. Collection the artist, courtesy Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris.


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