Artist: Claire Fontaine, with Andreas Slominski, Philippe Thomas
Venue: Galerie Neu, Berlin
Exhibition Title: Fighting Gravity
Date: November 15, 2014 – January 10, 2015
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Galerie Neu, Berlin
Galerie Neu is pleased to announce the exhibition Fighting Gravity by Paris-based collective artist Claire Fontaine. If in fairy tales and myths the trip is the synonym of change and metamorphosis, in Fighting Gravity Moscow-London, London-Moscow (2010) the uneventful journey between these two cities is filmed from the cockpit of a private jet and projected in real time on a double-sided screen. The abstract landscape of the sky underlines the shapeless temporality of business and the insignificance of distances when money and technology are there to reduce them. It also suggests the permanent danger of being far from the ground, prisoner of a fictitious heaven fuelled by oil, pollution and the violence of abusive privilege. Since the blatant failure of the mechanisms that supported the legitimacy of liberal capitalism was accompanied by a general impunity and didn’t translate into any radical change, we are left with the feeling that the only law that remains un-negotiable is the law of gravity. But ‘gravity’ is of course a word with a moral resonance, it is also a synonym of weight, and it appears that somehow during the last crisis people and their money evaporated, they were no longer important, no longer present, relegated to a limbo of inexistency where these images float portraying a journey that isn’t submitted to border formalities and the constraints of mobility of ordinary people. Untitled (I’ve stolen it) (2014), is an animated neon sign that displays four different sentences revolving around the legitimacy of ownership and theft. The text of the sign is inspired by a chapter of the historical book by R.D. Laing entitled Knots that explores with disturbing depth recurrent double binds and vicious circles imprisoning our free will and condemning us to compulsive repetitions. About these situations Laing wrote in his 1969 preface to the book: “The patterns delineated here have not yet been classified by a Linnaeus of human bondage. They are all, perhaps strangely familiar.”
Claire Fontaine has chosen Andreas Slominski and Philippe Thomas to take part in the exhibition. The French artist Philippe Thomas opened in 1987 his agency in New York – readymades belong to everyone ® – that provided different kind of services mostly revolving around the transfer of authorship. Anyone, whether collector, patron, or museum, who bought a work from readymades belong to everyone ® immediately became the author of that work, authorship was then the ultimate object of the transaction with the consequence of the progressive disappearance of the artist. The agency published advertisements with slogans underlining how much art history is an open field, and everyone is invited to become a part of it. The alienated but recognizable ordinary objects by Andreas Slominski expand the field of the ready-made to the domain of the organic, including bodies and human fluids without ever giving an aesthetic or moral justification that could help the viewer to calm the disquiet coming from his uncanny artworks.