June 25, 2004 - Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris - Annette Messager
June 25, 2004

Annette Messager

Annette Messager
‘wind back’

OFF THE RECORD / SOUND ARC’: Sound experiments in the courtyard of the Couvent des Cordeliers

09 ​June – 03 October 2004

The Musee d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris / ARC at the Couvent des Cordeliers


Since her first exhibition at the ARC in 1974, Messager collectionneuse, Annette Messager has had a special relationship with the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

Here, specifically for the Couvent des Cordeliers, Annette Messager has designed the project sous vent. This work marks a new period in her development, after the spectacular contributions to Documenta 11 in 2002 and more recently Lille 2004.

In this former Franciscan convent – said to be the last resting place of Nostradamus, and where Marat lay in state after his assassination – a long veil of black silk divides the entire space lengthwise. Amid sporadic lighting effects the veil rises and falls, sometimes dangerously, in the wind, allowing glimpses of mysterious objects the viewer cannot readily identify.

Recurrent features of the artist’s oeuvre – hybrid forms, nets, woolen thread, fragments of cloth animals – mix here with other items from the convent’s history and allusively evocative objects belonging to the artist herself.

With all the freedom from constraint and the faintly ironic detachment that mark her work, Annette Messager draws us into a network of multiple significations unencumbered by tendentiousness or dogmatism. The symbolism of the veil can be taken at different levels: taking the veil, as one does on entering a convent, lifting the veil on something, or simply covering something over.

This covering over is also the veiling of oneself, a blocking-off of what cannot be said or shown. Yet at the same time the veil is associated with notions of lightness and of movement induced by the wind: in a further rapprochement with artistic creation the wind is a source of “perturbations”, “depressions” and “gusts”, but also of a dynamic essential to the creative process.
In this strikingly individual installation, Annette Messager offers a poetic insight into the vanity of existence and the relativity of memory, in which past and present merge seamlessly.

Opening on Friday, June 25, 2004, between 5 – 8 p.m.
Live sound experiment of christophe van hufel, motif_r, Goran Vejvoda, on july 5, 2004

OFF THE RECORD / SOUND ARC is a presentation of sound experiments in contemporary art and music available on iPods – Apple digital juke boxes with headphones – in free access to the public in the courtyard of the Couvent des Cordeliers, specially converted into a listening lounge for the summer.

Musicians and artists (iPods 2 to 5), christophe van huffel and motif_r, Florian Hecker, Goran Vejvoda and Claude Levque, have been invited to propose a subjective compilation, presenting some of the most singular approaches to the musical creation of today with exclusive pieces.

In parallel, the ARC / Musee d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris (iPod 1) presents a selection of visual artists’ intrusions in sound and music.
‘OFF THE RECORD’ signifies the rarely diffused character and sometimes unpublished of the selected pieces while evoking the progressive dematerialization of the media, from the object in vinyl, tape or CD to the data file (MP3).

Taking advantage of the multiple options offered by the iPod, each selection is organised according to a specific arborescence, going beyond the merely linear series of a traditional compilation. As a new exhibition space, this medium allows us to experience a mode of diffusion, exchange and listening, which challenges common practices.

A free access data base, the temporary display OFF THE RECORD inscribes sound and music in a real prolongation with the visual arts, and is to be activated in a deliberately random way by the users themselves.
OFF THE RECORD / SOUNS ARC will continue in different forms throughout 2004-2005.

Next at the Couvent des Cordeliers : Art, television and video : yesterday’s utopias, stakes for tomorrow? :
– Ready to Shoot : Fernsehgalerie Gerry Schum / videogalerie Schum
– David Robbins
– Tomorrow now
3 October – 28 november 2004
Musee d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris/ ARC
At the Couvent des Cordeliers
15, rue de l’Ecole de Medecine 75006 Paris – France
12 h – 20 h (closed on Monday) www.mam.paris.fr
Information : (33) 1 53 67 40 00
Press: Maud Ohana / Marion Guilmot
T. : (33) 1 53 67 40 50 / (33) 1 53 67 40 51

Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris
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