Annette Messager: Les Tortures Volontaires

Still up-to-date: Annette Messager’s photo series on the image of the body from 1972. The “Les Tortures Volontaires” series consists of 81 works of which Annette Messager has made available 40 diptychs in their original formats as gelatin-silver prints.


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“Beauty knows no pain” is a phrase that, upon closer scrutiny, is shocking and disturbing. The French artist Annette Messager (*1943 in Berck) began pursuing this idea in the seventies when she assembled photographs from magazines for her groundbreaking series Les Tortures Volontiers (Voluntary Torture). In Messager’s photographs, which are as alarming as they are absurd, breasts are lifted into suction cups, thighs are massaged with electricity, exfoliations look as if a second layer of skin is being peeled off.”


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Please note: All images and texts are protected by Copyright and belong to the Artist.

Annette Messager


  • Hatje Cantz
  • First edition 2013
  • Softcover in slipcase: 92 pages
  • 25.40 x 33.70 cm
  • German, English, French
  • Texts by Annette Messager, graphic design by Katja Jaeger