On the 31st of October the Paris-based gallery Air de Paris opened ‘Love is Never Enough’ by the exciting art collective Claire Fontaine, presenting a new selection of works revolving around the emotional bankruptcy of our times. The title of the exhibition suggests that our need for love is almost unlimited and it cannot be satisfied by the current configuration of society but also that in our world, more than ever before, good intentions cannot be carried out without material means. The exhibition tackles the issues of exclusion and inclusion, security and fear, through the conceptual use of diverse medias. When in Paris make sure to catch the exhibition by one of the more exciting contemporary collectives active, before it closes at the end of December.
At the entrance of the gallery Claire Fontaine presents an anagram of the neon sign OPEN, an iconic objet of American commercial culture and a wonderful ready-made, because of its metaphysical implications. Her sign looks exactly like the original object, it has the same colors and the same form, but the letters that compose the word have changed position and have transformed it into a laconic and depressed negation: “nope”.
Claire Fontaine has created a new series of Fresh Paintings, realized with anti-climb paint, a material that never dries and is commonly applied on walls and fences to mark the thief or the intruder with a stain that materializes his guilty intentions on his body. The paintings created through this technique always remain in a state of childhood, vulnerable and never fully finished, forever fresh.
With the neon sign ‘You are not from the Castle’ the artist reproduces a memorable line from Kafka’s The Castle, where K, the foreigner, the unwelcome guest, gets reminded his status similar to the one of millions of refugees seeking hospitality in our countries these days. The full quote from the novel reads: “You are not from the castle, you are not from the village, you are nothing. Or rather, unfortunately, you are something, a stranger, a man who is not wanted and is in everybody’s way, a man who is always causing trouble.”
Claire Fontaine is a Paris-based collective artist, founded in 2004. After lifting her name from a popular brand of school notebooks, Claire Fontaine declared herself a “readymade artist” and began to elaborate a version of neo-conceptual art that often looks like other people’s work. Working in neon, video, sculpture, painting and text, her practice can be described as an ongoing interrogation of the political impotence and the crisis of singularity that seem to define contemporary art today. The fictional character uses her freshness and youth to make herself a whatever-singularity and an existential terrorist in search of subjective emancipation. She grows up among the ruins of the notion of authorship, experimenting with collective protocols of production, détournements, and the production of various devices for the sharing of intellectual and private property.
Claire Fontaine doesn’t especially describe herself as a fiction; she is not meant to be a female character with a face, specific characteristics, or moods. She is a fiction in the way any proper name is a fiction. Giving a name to a collective practice, signing certain things Claire Fontaine instead of the Ramones, Luther Blisset, or the Red Brigades, is very real: we do this is to make it explicit that our works and actions come from here, from us.
‘Love is Never Enough’ will run until the 19th of December 2015 at Gallery Air de Paris, located at 32, rue Louise Weiss in Paris. Opened Tuesday – Saturday: 11:00 until 19:00.
For more information see here