Sunday, March 11, 2012

Claire Fontaine "working Together" November 3 - December 10, 2011 Metro Pictures 519 west 24th Street New York 10011, by craniv boyd.

Claire Fontaine "working Together" November 3 - December 10, 2011 Metro Pictures 519 west 24th Street New York 10011, by craniv boyd.

Difficult art work that looks as if it is protest of being art objects. A recent exhibition by the Paris based, artist collective called, Claire Fontaine, after a brand of stationary, was that in fact, difficult. One of the most memorable moments of the exhibition were the semi transparent plastic bags hanging from the ceiling with the content of, empty beer and soda cans. The refuse as component, of an installation lending an insider feel to a hermetic exhibition that had the appearance of a private joke, or a party, held on an industrial urban rooftop that one has missed.

in the front room of the Gallery Metro Pictures, was a silk screen painting that, bared the appearance of a 60-s vintage Warhol painting,  think of Nose Job from the year 1963 in the collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art. On this diptych was a line drawing of a wolf, growling on one panel cowering on the other, the poles of aggression and obedience both images. The heading in french codified the images as that of having an appropriated provenance, most likely from a textbook in french, about the socio-biology or behavior of wolves.

Past this room with the wolf paintings, was a iron scaffold, and numerous paintings of written words from snatches of conversation, between, Jay -Z, an American multi millionaire entertainer, and more recently art collector, and Richard Prince, an American artist, born in the Panama Zone, who has had the distinction of a retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. These paintings are jokes, and blatantly refer to the joke Paintings series by Richard Prince. Familiarity with the names of Jay-Z and Richard Prince precludes understanding of the super-flat art work, in short this room of Claire Fontaine's "working Together" is art work about dry tastes in the art world, that strange global village of  Art Basel, Art Basel Miami, New York City, London. The scaffolding makes the weak paintings with horrible content, part of an ironic installation, the apathetic placement of the trash, and aluminum cans, only helps to fuel an expression of intellectual despair, dismay perhaps at the acceptance of terrible Joke paintings by a celebrated artist like Richard Prince, or a more general seance of existential discomfort with the role of being a Paris based art collective, and performing a gallery show, in New York. 

In another room was a self-defense instructional video, of impeccable quality, superior lamp projection, appropriate sound befitting the gallery space. Claire Fontaine may be truly, careless in their "paintings" however, their video art was nearly faultless in its presentation. Viewers were left with the concerns of: what does this instructional video of clothed middle aged men on a gymnastic mat, mock fighting, have to do with the conceptual concerns of the other art objects, in the other rooms of Metro Pictures. By-in-large "working together" had the appearance of a collective artistic effort of conceptualized confusion, where the one thing that was spot on, was the installation of the video work. by craniv boyd. 

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