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. But if the artist herself is the subjective equivalent of a urinal or a Brillo box – as displaced, deprived of its use value, and exchangeable as the products she makes – there is always the possibility of what she calls the „human strike.“ Claire Fontaine 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.
Outtakes form Interview with CLAIRE FONTEINE: „Texte zur Kunst„, März 2009, Heft 73
————————————————————————————————„But it is true that very few things touch us amongst this abundance. We can’t claim that this is a situation specific to our time. When one reads the chronicles of the past it looks like the percentrage of interesting things is constantly low, and very few masterpieces are recognised as such, consequently exhibited and made acessible to a big audience, while the artist is still alive. Art history, like any other history, is written by a specific group of people. It isn’t a collectiv expression. There is art under any political regime in any time, and there is art under capitalism. Even the way we look at the art of the past changes according to the angle of vision that our present allows us. There isn’t such a thing as a stable Patrimony of Art, this is just a reassuring fiction, an accumulative data bank fiction. Things are forgotten, other things are found constantly. The work of memory is to be done in the present, continuously. the existence of books doesn’t protect us from forgetting. Things have to bo lived, experienced, seen, redone. We think, but this might be banal, that in a society liberated by the contemporary organization of work, power and poverty, art would be n activity open to anyone, not a specific job, just partof our shared education and life.“ ————————————————————————————————
„human-strike“, „becoming stranger“, „non-action“
————————————————————————————————„As we don’t really know what productivity is, we are not obsessed by un-produktivity. It is interesting for us to create interruptions. Unlearning is a very important aspect within contemporary art, but it is also essential for contemporary politics.“
————————————————————————————————„Our writings and our works are the result of a preliminary reflection. They don’t have to be justified or rearticulated by the same people that paroduce them. That’s the job of the critic!“ ————————————————————————————————