Annette Messager, Mes Transports, 2012–13, mixed media, dimensions variable.

Annette Messager

Marian Goodman Gallery | Paris

Annette Messager, Mes Transports, 2012–13, mixed media, dimensions variable.

Spread across the gallery floor in an archipelagic formation, Annette Messager’s installation of twenty-one sculptures arrayed on small padded dollies, Mes Transports, 2012–13, conjured the gory aftermath of a mysterious disaster. Reprising some of the artist’s signature motifs, including dead animals, human body parts, and children’s toys, this work evokes a scene of emergency triage with nightmarish casualties on makeshift gurneys. The strange amalgams of limbs, shoes, birds, dogs, and architectural wreckage—covered with the kind of matte black foil typically used to mask theatrical lights—appear hideously charred, evoking catastrophes ranging from the eruption of Vesuvius to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Making the grisly mise-en-scène more tolerable, scattered traces of offbeat humor, such as a bright-pink tongue sticking out of a disembodied blackened head

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