From a product to an entity by itself, Annlee became a source of creations that anyone could use to make something. It’s rather interesting and at the same time sad that Annlee was merely a simple character that was to be used commercially if the circumstances allowed. Its design was the biggest “flaw” that it had, too simple and nothing noteworthy to become a hero or a popular character. I understand that characters have to have one characteristic that makes them pop out but that doesn’t mean that you can not improve them with time. That’s why as much as Annlee’s flaw was its design I also think that it actually helped other artists expand its story and characterization.

Annlee started as a 2D character but after being purchased by Pierre Huyghe, Annlee developed into an entity that could take any story or portray any characters as designed by the artist using it. What caught my attention besides the liberty for people to use Annlee was the choice that Pierre made to give all copyrights to Annlee and thus, ending the liberty of creation using this character and with it its “death”. Why was this needed? Annlee could have become an online star! Many characters created by Japan are mainly based on anime/manga designs because there is a great demand of them. That seems to also be the main reason why it more expensive to get a more appealing character than a plain one. But funnily enough, if you buy a character, you can add more characteristics to it but guess that didn’t happen with Annlee. Rather Annlee was remodeled into 3D to be easier to use and distribute. By reading further, it seems that this was just making Annlee become a product again and Pierre didn’t want to own Annlee as an object so that’s why he decided on giving the copyright to Annlee itself.

A character that was created for the purpose of advertising and probably with a low chance of surviving. Annlee was cheap but that didn’t stop artists from making it a symbol. Whether it be of liberty or to show how capitalism works, Annlee managed to give people a way to express what identity is and how it can change one’s mind.

The video of the image below can be seen in here.

Anywhere Out of the World, 2000, Beta digital, 4 minutes, PHILIPPE PARRENO


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *