Messager uses both stuffed toys and taxidermized birds and animals in her work, creating different types of effigies. The stuffed toys have associations with childhood, but the small, common animals she uses are both familar and very strange: formerly living beings now oddly frozen.
Messager has often spoken of the similarity of taxidermy and photography: "I can see today that the same sort of issues lie behind taxidermy and photography. Taxidermy consists in preserving a bird in full flight....In the same way, photography halts and freezes motion and life."*
*"Annette Messager, or the Taxidermy of Desire," interview by Bernard Marcadé, in Annette Messager, comédie tragédie, 1971 - 1989 (Grenoble: Musée de Grenoble, 1989), 159.
Images above and downloadable image below: details of Nameless Ones (Anonymes). 1993. Taxidermized animals with stuffed animal heads, and metal poles in clay bases, overall dimensions variable. Collection Contemporain du Musée Cantini, Marseille, France.
Nameless Ones (Anonymes) - 33K JPEG
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