French artist born in 1943, messager is known mainly for her installation work which often incorporates photographs, prints and drawings, and various materials. Messager has exhibited and published her work extensively. Her work has interested me not only because of the photography involved but because of the way it is presented, she has produced sculptures such as her most famous work of dead birds in sweaters that she knitted herself. The work that interested me most was her 'Istallations' of photography which we mixed media in a sense of printed photographs, drawings and then assembled into a sculpture often hanging in a certainw ay presenting a shape relating to the theme of the photographs perhaps, the majority show fragments, such as this piece titled 'My Vows', which shows large numbers of close up photographs of the bodies features, this tendency to fragment and catalog is everywhere in her work. She catalogues ink blots, pictures of children with their eyes scratched out and her own children's drawings. Judging from websites her life has always been based around art, and she is very proffessionally known and portrayed with little about her personal life. It doesn;t really have a link with time or history but shows more of a look on society in terms of people and how they are themselves. It was created for her own use in 1988-1991, the time it was created isn't obvious in the work but could fit in well with anytime where the human figure has been considered important which could go years back.
Overall the work is a sculpture in terms of it being 3D but photography and art are used in her use of embroidary for the hanging of the work, influenfed probably from her previous works including its use on her own personal objects. It is quite sophisticated in terms of its presentation compared to some work of the time that was usually quite random in composition whereas Messenger has taken extra care to make sure that her photographs fit the shape of a circle. The work is about presenting sexual and physical abuse, this fits because it shows the sin of obsession with the body in fragments which could represent the obsession someone has with a part of someone or what the abuser looks for in people, the work is presented in quite feminine shapes, a circle being more soft than something harsh and the contrasted photographs showing features in a more powerful way, the lips and female body parts being more aplicable for females, the use of materials such as the light coloured string relate more to females/feminine materials. The symbolic meaning is basically this too. The people in the pictures' have concealed identities, you can't tell what they are doing because it remains a mystery, neither can you tell how many people have been used for these photographs, it could all be the same male and female, it can show hidden experience, anything could be happening, any emotion can be provoked and interpreted because it could show sexual feelings, discomfort in their own skin, affection with the hands, fashion in a sense of delicate make up, judging by the hands and feet we can see that various sized people could have been used, which could link to feminity in a sense of weight. The title could reflect quite a personal view on it because of the abuse theme, they may be showing what them or somebody else sees of them, saying what they vow to do with them or themselves. The theme buried is definitely quite negative although we don't see this just by looking at it it seems quite dark, people might feel uncomfortable with such images being around.
The elements that have been considered are tone in terms of contrast, the more contrasted the more bold and dramatic the images look, as well as sharper and dark, colour is uneccessary because of her choice to use black and white, although the pale colour of the embroidary softens the power of the images, the contrast also creates a smooth texture look them, line isnt really important and shape is only considered with the final result. There is a sense of space in the work, the images look like screens with a much bigger picture going on inside, an illusion that there could be movement involved in the situations. The scale is important, it needs to be as big as it is because of the small photographs still need to be visible, yet not overpowering by each one being too big giving us too much to look at.
My personal response is that no part of the work is mor eye-catching than the other, each picture can be looked at individually, there is a sense of touch to it, the narrative shows different stories that can be though about, different peoples experiences presented by their body parts, I like the work because of its meaning, it fits well with the way it is presented, it is hung up differently and the mixed media works well in making it individual and more interesting to look at, the lips and eyes remind me of something that would be in a fashion magazine, although it is interpreted and presented completely different in this work.