‘A few months ago I was putting some things away in a closet that I rarely ever go near – I hate it, because it’s such a mess – and quite by chance, I found eighty-one photographs that I had completely forgotten about, prints I had made in 1972. The were part of my piece Les Tortures Volontaires.
And that gave me the idea of suggesting it for this book with Hatje Cantz.’
So writes Annette Messager in her book Voluntary Tortures. It’s a lovely book. It’s large-sized and comes in a buff cardboard slipcase and contains 81 pictures of women (and 1 man) having their breasts squeezed, skin exfoliated and bellies shaken; a book of voluntary tortures then!
This is what Messager says at the end.
‘These days, people’s bodies and faces are remodeled, regenerated, transformed, and fantasized – whereby, adhering to socially defined standards.
Unlike wines, which change over time and acquire their bouquet with age, we humans never give up the struggle against the natural processes of time.’