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Photo installations by Annette Messager

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The work of French artist Annette Messager never fails to inspire me. Some of my favorites are her hangings of dense clusters of photographs, the Vows series. In these pieces, Messager frames pictures of isolated body parts, not from a single person but from many individuals: male and female, old and young, and more. Each photo resembles a devotional offering presented at a place of worship.

From the MoMA website about the artist’s Vows series: This deliberate confusion of identity is a powerful incantation: the interpenetration of different physical entities is strongly surreal, and the coherent whole it suggests is the psychological state in which gender is an elusive or progressive state, or in which genders are interchangeable. The idea of sexuality in which gender is not a given but is chosen and constructed just as other components of our human identity are, informs these works, which shift and change as the viewer’s eye wanders over the array.”

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