South likes: Lucie Fontaine at Eli Ping Frances Perkins, New York

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Lucie Fontaine, Soft Shock, installation view, 2014, Eli Ping Frances Perkins

South likes: Lucie Fontaine at Eli Ping Frances Perkins, New York
Soft Shock
Eli Ping Frances Perkins, New York, USA
26 June – 27 July, 2014

Text by Michelangelo Corsaro

In 1971 Richard Nixon suspended the direct convertibility of the dollar into gold (the “Nixon Shock”), initiating the dematerialisation of money, which hence slowly started to turn into a mere abstraction. In the same years, dematerialised and conceptual practices made their entrance into contemporary art. The exhibition of Lucie Fontaine at Eli Ping Frances Perkins, Soft Shock, rereads the coincidence of these two events under the circumstances that brought to the current development of both art and economy. Works by Andy Coolquitt, Claire Fontaine, and David Andrew Tasman compose a collective installation, halfway between a portable exhibition and a carnivalesque hallucination of an office space. These pieces related to contemporary researches on value exchange and immateriality, are paralleled by a discourse on the phenomenon of Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer payment system that is exchanged over the internet and ultimately works as digital cash. The invention of this crypto-currency (so-called because it relies on cryptography to control the creation and exchange of money) is in fact a curious parallel to relate to the work of Lucie Fontaine, who embodies a pseudonymous collective that works flexibly as a producer, curator, project space. A work commissioned to Miri Segal exposes this parallel: it is a “double portrait” picturing the face of an asian man and the one of an Afghan girl. The latter is the famous award-winning image by journalist Steve McCurry, which featured on the cover of the June 1985 issue of National Geographic magazine. The first one is instead a digital image of a face that contains different racial characters from all over the world, which was used as the official portrait of Satoshi Nakamoto, a fictional identity that hides the creator of Bitcoin. It is an article by the american entrepreneur Marc Andreessen that clarifies the parallel between this image and the work of Lucie Fontaine: “Much like email, which is quite traceable, Bitcoin is pseudonymous, not anonymous.”

http://elipingfrancesperkins.com

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Lucie Fontaine, Soft Shock, installation view, 2014, Eli Ping Frances Perkins

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Lucie Fontaine, Soft Shock, installation view, 2014, Eli Ping Frances Perkins

 

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