Claire Fontaine

Location Académie de France à Rome - Villa Medici
Date23 June, 2016
In the monumental area of the Villa Medici gardens, the installation conceived by Claire Fontaine for the Academy of France in Rome takes shape. It consists of a set of cloths hanging from threads stretched among the trees. The composition, with its bright colours and apparently scenographic layout, offers, at first glance, a pleasantly joyful sensation behind which lies a bitter awareness of reality. Indeed, it evokes in its own way an extremely topical drama, that of migrants, transforming the formally accomplished and grandiose space of the gardens into an ideal encampment (of 'luxury', but still an encampment) for invisible people. The clothes suspended amidst the rustic charms of the villa suggest the absence of the bodies of those who could not even become refugees and silently accompany the foreigners of our cities like a shadow. Today as yesterday. The villa thus becomes a metaphor for a drama that is always alive and capable of re-proposing itself over time, albeit in different ways and with different motivations.

The choice of clothes used for the performance is also symbolic. These are clothes provided by HUMANA People to People Italia, an international organisation committed to implementing and supporting development projects in the South of the world, mainly thanks to the funds obtained from the collection, selection and sale of used clothes. The theme of the installation is particularly dear to the association which, since 2014, has been active in supporting reception centres by distributing solidarity kits (containing clothes and personal hygiene accessories) to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Italy.

The project conceived by the art collective Claire Fontaine is inspired by the historical and cultural context of the institution and is articulated in a series of interventions involving the entire architectural complex where it is located, both visually and intellectually. It is based on one of the most recurrent expressive systems in its creative journey, the ready-made, reworked and developed taking into account the specific needs dictated by the location. Their common denominator is another leitmotiv in Claire Fontaine's research, the analysis of the individual conducted in relation to the cultural and social evolutions of his time, both past (history) and near (the chronicle).

Past Exhibitions