CLAIRE FONTAINE COLLECTIVE
Her prolific creativity is expressed through the prism of feminism, an essential and omnipresent issue in her work, which she qualifies as “a healthy lifestyle, a formidable device for readability.” Maria Grazia Chiuri, Creative Director of Dior women’s collections, wanted the collective to freely occupy the venue for Dior’s fall-winter 2020-2021 ready-to-wear show. Their primary point of convergence, and essential affinities, center on the decisive writings of the celebrated writer Carla Lonzi, an art critic and feminist activist. A figurehead of commitment in her native Italy, she has had a strong influence on the work of both Claire Fontaine and Maria Grazia Chiuri(3).
Fascinating for their paradoxical ambivalence and the power of their parable, Claire Fontaine’s works brandish messages that challenge us, like injunctions and incitements to reflect, in words wrought in neon lighting or LEDs, like the ones created for the show. Both disturbing and fascinating, these plays of light, conveying singular energies and emotions, give materiality to words, making them interact with the outside world, thus altering the reading of the reality surrounding them. And our own interpretation of the world with it.
By modifying perception of the space she occupies, Claire Fontaine provokes awareness, which is necessary now more than ever for examining major contemporary issues. For Dior, the runway is also covered in newspaper, a reference to one of the artist’s previous installations, Newsfloor, creating “visual noise” and an authentic artistic dialogue between feminist art and creation in all its forms.
1. Who created Fontaine, one of the icons of ready-made, in 1917.
2. Composed of the artistic duo Fulvia Carnevale and James Thornhill.
3. The manifesto by Carla Lonzi – entitled Io Dico Io, and translated in English as I Say I – was one of the primary inspirations for this show’s collaboration.
©Courtesy of Claire Fontaine, Air de Paris, Galerie Neu and T293