Siri Hustvedt

“The Enchanted and Demonic World of Annette Messager”
Feb 2009

The Guardian, February 21, 2009

“The Enchanted and Demonic World of Annette Messager”

Some people remember their childhoods well. They remember what it felt like to play and pretend. Others don't. Their childish personas have vanished behind clouds of amnesia. Still others, some of whom are artists, continue to play and pretend all their lives. The French artist Annette Messager is still playing hard, as is clear from a visit to the Hayward Gallery's retrospective, The Messengers, the first major show of her work in England. When looking at Messager's art, I have always felt a strong pull back to my own early life, to the reveries, fears, cruel and kind thoughts, magical feelings and fantasies that were part of play - not organised play or sport, but unhindered free play.
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