Claire Fontaine: Passe-partout

Claire Fontaine: Passe-partout

Artists in the exhibition

Claire Fontaine

Date

September 25–November 19, 2021

Location

Nice, Atrium

Press release

Hoffmann + Maler + Wallenberg is pleased to announce the exhibition Passe-partout by Claire Fontaine as part of its inaugural series of exhibitions.

Claire Fontaine is a collective artist that began operating in Paris in 2004 and is currently based in Palermo. Claire Fontaine loves Communism and aims to free the world from the colonization of life via commodities.

The exhibition presents the work Passe-partout (Palermo) (2020), which is part of an ongoing series begun in 2004. The works are combinations of wire, tape, hacksaw blades, bicycle spokes, Allen wrenches, hairpins, safety pins, paperclips—all objects that can serve as lockpicking tools—as well as passe-partouts (master keys designed to open several different locks) and local souvenir knickknacks that can be hung on a keyring. Over the years, various Passe-partout works have been made for specific cities or neighborhoods, including Washington DC, Paris, Hollywood, Glasgow, Jerusalem, Ramallah, and San Francisco.

With Passe-partout, Claire Fontaine follows the motto “property is theft” coined by the French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in his 1840 book What Is Property? The work speaks about the unequal distribution of goods, ownership of both commodities and space in the form of real estate, and the increasing privatization and corporate seizure of public space.

Passe-partout is a prologue for a larger solo exhibition by Clare Fontaine at Hoffmann + Maler + Wallenberg to take place in 2022, which will be accompanied by a publication presenting all works made by Claire Fontaine to date, published by HMW Books.

Claire Fontaine is a self-declared readymade artist and takes its name from a popular brand of French notebooks for schoolchildren. The artist develops a version of neo-conceptual art using neon, video, sculpture, painting, and writing. Its practice can be described as an open questioning of political powerlessness and the crisis of the singularity.

Claire Fontaine, Passe-partout (Palermo), 2020. Hacksaw blades, keyrings, charms, buttons, paperclips, razor blade, Allen wrenches, safety pins, wire, knitted wool, and hair pins. Dimensions variable

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