Throughout her career, artist and activist Ann Messner has consistently challenged the unresolved schisms between notions of private life/space and public/civic experience, focusing on the relationship between the individual and the larger social body encountered within public space or discourse. Her interest in investigating “inhabitable space” led to her participation in the groundbreaking Real Estate Show in 1980, which sought to expose the City’s relationship with low-income neighborhoods by appropriating an abandoned building to present an art show on the subject. Her recent work has traversed the line between the directly political and the cultural, working with the direct-action collective A.R.T. (Activists Response Team) to produce a series of tabloid and video works that critically analyze the “war on terror.” Messner’s work has been recognized through fellowships and awards, including the National Endowment for the Arts Individual Fellowship, Henry Moore International Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Anonymous Was a Woman Award, and a Gottlieb Foundation Fellowship, among others.
Why we love Ann Messner:
• Ann was a key player in The Real Estate Show, breaking ground as one of the first art shows to expose the inequities of real estate in New York
• More recently she critically analyzed the “war on terror” through a series of tabloid and video works created with direct- action collective A.R.T. link
• Meteor, her 1980 public intervention in Times Square, presaged our current age of technological reliance and interconnectedness