Claire Fontaine, Have Cake & East It
Claire Fontaine is a Paris-based collective that uses neon, video, sculpture, painting, found objects and text to express feminists and political viewpoints, as well as existential perspectives. The fictive Fontaine declared herself a “readymade artist” after lifting her name from a well-known brand of school notebooks, thus underscoring how an existing brand or object can assume new meaning and artistic identities. Her work is exhibited throughout the world.
Specializing in neo-conceptual art, Fontaine works through her Paris-based “assistants”, Fulvia Carnevale and James Thornhill. In “Have Cake & Eat It”, the collective realizes a neon sign which, quite appropriately, is displayed in the Aventura Mall Treats Hall. There, hanging prominently from the ceiling, the words are delivered in a clean bolded sans-serif typeface. A play on the adage “you can’t have your cake and eat it too,” the text offers a subtle social commentary, alluding to the benefits of privilege.
Surely it is no coincidence that the collective chose a brand associated with education, nor that translated from French, Clare Fontaine means “clear fountain.” As the artist continues to issue her insights and commentaries, she wants us to be cognizant of the trustworthiness of the source.