• We 13.09, 18:00h
  • Th 14.09
  • Fr 15.09
  • Sa 16.09
  • Su 17.09

© James Thornhill / Studio Claire Fontaine. Courtesy Claire Fontaine und / and Galerie Neu, Berlin

Exhibition, Opening
Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.)

14 SEP 2017—26 JAN 2018
Opening 13 SEP, 6pm

Claire Fontaine. The Crack-Up

Crushed saltines within their cellophane packaging; a dozen marbles gathered under an upside-down glass; the slightly manic air of a fidgeting individual, compelled to stand silently under the steady gaze of the camera. Despite their apparent variety, these three images by the Paris-based readymade artist Claire Fontaine – two lightbox photos and a video – partake of a shared, if rather difficult to name, state. Let’s call it the imminent threat of a dispersal or fragmentation that is held fragilely, temporarily, at bay. At least for the time being, the imminent release of energy is tenuously checked: the crackers don’t spill across the table, the marbles don’t roll in all directions, the man on camera doesn’t go to pieces. In another moment, perhaps each will fall apart, the unstable unity pictured here dissolving into multiplicity – such seems to be the animating tension of these images. But there is something else common to them: each, in its banality or monotony, barely seems worthy of our consideration, even as its format, adopting common visual technologies of our image-saturated society, appears to demand precisely that attention we resist giving. A Warholian muteness reigns, punctuated only by the exaggerated swallows, teeth-sucking, and occasional murmuring of the poet Douglas Park as he occupies twenty unspeaking minutes embodying that paradoxical helper or assistant, that good-for-nothing – an analogue of the artist herself – who, in comical-grotesque fashion, can only deliver his message of freedom in “the language of deaf-mutes,” as a philosopher friend once described it. Our vague disappointment encountering these images is only a mirror of the oblivion – of what is lost, forgotten, and ruined – they each bear within; they confront us as promissory notes to a future when all such awkwardness will be redeemed. (Tom McDonough)

Claire Fontaine is a collective artist and writer founded in Paris in 2004, she works with sculpture, neon, installation, painting and video. Claire Fontaine explores the problems and paradoxes of capitalism and the experience of foreignness. Through Claire Fontaine’s notion of the ‘ready-made artist’ she also challenges the concept of authorship and questions the forms of artistic subjectivization. Most recently Claire Fontaines works were shown at, a. o., Museo Pietro Canonica and Villa Medici, Rome (2016); Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt (2014); Jewish Museum, New York (2013); CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2013, 2009); Museion, Bolzano (2012; 2006); El Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City (2010); MOCA, Miami (2010); Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2008); Kubus / Lenbachhaus, Munich (2008); Witte de With, Rotterdam (2008); The Kitchen, New York (2008); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2007); Kunsthalle Zurich (2007). She participated in, a. o., Architecture Biennial Venice (2016); CAFAM Biennial, Bejing (2014); Thessaloniki Biennial (2013); Performa, New York (2013); Shanghai Biennial (2012/2013); Manifesta, Genk; Rovereto (2012; 2008); Istanbul Biennial (2011; 2007); Moscow Biennial (2011).

Curator: Kathrin Becker