Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Geography of Love (Part 2)

Continuing with the theme of Monday's learning about Madeleine de Scudéry's Carte de Tendre, I also learned the work of French artist Annette Messager. She was inspired by Mlle. de Scudéry's work, and used the idea of "amorous geography" in her artwork. Her descriptions of this are beautifully worded, I think:

"We have films about love, we have novels about love, we should have paintings of love.

I draw in the lines of your foot. I paint in the lines of your mouth. I make watercolors in your hand. I sew images in your ear. I draw a map in your navel…

I was very impressed by the Carte du Tendre [Map of Tenderness] invented by a woman writer of 17th century France, Mlle de Scudery. For some time, I conceived of gardens of “tendre” which mix writing and photography with real spaces: the path of reconciliation, the tree of shame, the herbs of confidences, the turtle of longevity, the spider of scandal, the route of chance, the maple of dispute, the copse of indiscretion, the timber trees of hope, the oak of kisses, the poppies of confession, the rabbit of fortune, the branches of forgetfulness, the junction of uncertainties, the forest of hesitations, the lake of temptation, the plains of fatigue, the lime tree of rest, the mountain of assiduousness, the passageway of pain, the intersection of ambition, the ramble of emotion, the slope of forgetfulness, the mound of despair…"

I share three of her pieces here. They are wonderful in their interpretation of love as being something mappable or able to be plotted...this creative view of love and relationships greatly intrigues me, and I find Messager's words on the subject quite stunning in their simplicity and artistry.

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