Claire Fontaine in Conversation with Jason E. Smith

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Kent and Vicki Logan Gallery

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
360 Kansas Street (between 16th & 17th)
San Francisco

On January 23, following the opening of her project, Redemptions, at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, Claire Fontaine will be joined by Jason E. Smith for a public conversation, placing Redemptions in the context of her larger body of work. Jason E. Smith is Assistant Professor in the Graduate Art Department at Art Center College of Design (Pasadena). He writes on contemporary philosophy, politics and art, and has published work in Artforum, Critical Inquiry, Parrhesia, and Radical Philosophy, among other places. He co-edited and introduced, with Hasana Sharp, Between Hegel and Spinoza (Continuum, 2012) and recently published, with Jean-Luc Nancy and Philip Armstrong, Politique et au-delà (Galilée, 2010). His translation of and introduction to Alain Badiou and Élisabeth Roudinesco’s Jacques Lacan, Past Present will appear with Columbia University Press in 2013.

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.