ARTYFACTS: Annette Messager - Hayward Gallery

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Annette Messager - Hayward Gallery

Get stuffed
Messager's stuffed toys make my heart sink. It's an attempt to use 'something' just because that 'something' hasn't been used before. Stuffed toys are not unorthodox, just boring. Her 'false biography' stance is also a complete fraud, or rather a sewries of poses, attention seeking, not art. From the very start, with the so called 'grotesque wall piece, you know you're in for something that's all 'look at ME'. Endless arrays of photograhs and personal drawings, mostly awful, are piled up,  arranged 'artfully' on the wall, hang from ceilings and spo on. I really dislike this blatant autobiographical pleading, especially when its by someone who denies she's doing this.

Hold on! This is good. This is really good. From a dark doorway at the back of a large hall huge blood-red waves billow through the aperture than expand like tsunamis towards the viewer. It floods the senses. Wounding, menstrual, horrific, calming, eerie - all of this and more. Never the same, these red ripples can be calm but as they grow they unsettle, even frighten. You're sort of stunned into silence. At last a work that isn't all art school and obviously personsal. It's big, dynamic and damn wonderful. I've truly never seen anything like this before. Unique. 


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