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X-CENTRIC FUTURES :: Claire Fontaine

"The Method of Magic Materialism"
February 19, 2022

In the first session of the X-Centric Futures the artist collective Claire Fontaine presents their "Method of Magic Materialism" developed to regroup a set of skills that have been discredited for political reasons.

It is a materialism that derives from feminism, and its principal aim is to restore subjectivity for those creatures, who have been objectified by patriarchy – women, gender non-conforming persons, people of colour, children, and the natural world.
Claire Fontaine’s method values reproductive work as much as productive work, it sees reproduction as a re-creation of one’s own subjectivity and collective relation space, it sees the body not as an exploitable mechanism but as a site of revolutionary potential and a battleground.

The debate will take place at Carpintarias through a large live projection with the collective.


Claire Fontaine is a collective conceptual feminist artist founded by James Thornhill and Fulvia Carnevale in 2004 in Paris. Since 2017 she lives and works in Palermo. Her name is inspired by Duchamp’s iconic ready-made, the urinal titled Fontaine, and a famous brand of French notebooks (Clairefontaine); it defines a space where the biographies of the artists aren’t directly connected to their artworks allowing their research to become a space of freedom and desubjectivisation.

The use of appropriation and hijacking in her work stems from the same intention: not highlighting the excellence of the artist’s unique singularity but activating the forms and the forces within our visual culture and underlining their political content.

Claire Fontaine uses video, sculpture, painting and writing. She has published a comprehensive anthology of her writings with Semiotext(e) in 2020 titled "Human Strike and the Art of Creating Freedom".

Some of the artist’s books are Some instructions for the sharing of private property with One Star Press in 2011 and "Vivre, vaincre" with Dilecta in 2009.
Two monographs on the artist have been published by Koenig’s Books: "Newsfloor" in 2020, with texts by Anita Chari and Jaleh Mansoor and Foreigners Everywhere in 2011, with texts by Letizia Ragaglia, Bernard Blistène, Nicolas Liucci-Goutnikov, John Kelsey and Hal Foster.

Recent solo shows include "Siamo con voi nella notte", Museo del 900, Florence, 2020; "Your Money and Your Life", Galerias Municipais, Lisbon, 2019; "La Borsa e la vita", Palazzo Ducale, Genova, 2019; "Les printemps seront silencieux, Le Confort Moderne, Poitiers, 2019; #displaced, Städtische Galerie Norhdorn", Nordhorn, 2019; "Fortezzuola", Museo Pietro Canonica, Villa Medici, Roma, 2016; "Tears", Jewish Museum, New York, 2013; "1493", Espacio 1414, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2013; "Sell Your Debt", Queen’s Nails, San Francisco, 2013; "Redemptions", CCA Wattis, San Francisco, 2013; "Carelessness causes fire", Audian Gallery, Vancouver, 2012; "Breakfast starts at midnight", Index, The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Stockholm, 2012; "M-A-C-C-H-I-N-A-Z-IO-N-I", Museion, Bolzano, 2012; "P.I.G.S.", MUSAC, Castilla y León, 2011; "Economies", Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami 2010.

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