Annette Messager, Exhibition / Exposition

Sep 27, 2014 — Mar 22, 2015

  • Installation view of the exhibition at K21, photo: Achim Kukulies

Annette Messager is a key figure on today’s international art scene, an artist whose oeuvre prepared the ground for contemporary French art. Nonetheless, her last solo show in a German museum took place almost 25 years ago. Now, the exhibition Annette Messager: Exhibition / Exposition at the K21 Ständehaus provides art lovers with an opportunity to rediscover her. On view are works dating from the late 1980s to the present.

The series Les interdictions 2014 was produced especiallyfor the exhibition at the K21. Among Annette Messager’s recent works is the striking installation Continents noirs (2010–2012). Like tiny islands, black, crumpled elements hover in the air. The piece is reminiscent of the setting of a science fiction film, but is also evocative of a bleak future. Inspired by Gulliver's Travels, the work’s title returns to a statement by Sigmund Freud, who said that female sexuality  was like a dark continent that represented an uncharted continent for psychoanalysis.

The new work Les interdictions en 2014 consists of 68 drawings (a reference to the revolutionary events of May 1968 in Paris) that represent various forms of prohibition from around the world. These range from everyday restrictions such as bans on taking photographs or smoking, all the way to censorious laws based on cultural-political values such as the ban on women driving in SaudiArabia. Here as well, Annette Messager addresses serious themes, the forces that concern and define people in everyday life, in a poetic and humorous manner.