Annette Messager


Secret by Annette Messager

Artwork Detail

In 1988, Messager wrote the words 'ruse', 'secret', and 'promise' out of strands of hair which she framed and suspended. This new Secret is more playful, and less directly associated with the real world or real meaning. It is charactered enough to be a cartoon rather than a fetish, but retains human association through its hand-made appearance and materiality. Messager is keenly aware of how we use language - how we form it and weave it into meaning. She has said that all her work speaks solely about the body, yet it connects to culture through the language of myth.

Towards the end of the 1990s, Annette Messager’s word objects began to get a physicality to them which exaggerated their body—big words in animated fabric, netted, stuffed and accompanied with images and objects. Messager views these words as images evoking sound and feeling. The spidery hand of Secret refers to the mythical unknown as it appears in children’s stories where spiders are often associated with places of uncertainty.

Annette Messager
Production date
net, wire
1600 x 2800 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2007
Accession no
Other ID
X2007/13 Old Accession Number
Copying restrictions apply
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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