Foreigners is a series of small figures, which I began to make in response to the English landscape that surrounds me and to my cultural understanding of it as a foreigner. I generally find the images out of which they are born during walks in the nearby forest and in the field that begins as soon as I cross the street where I live. During these walks, I concentrate in observing the process of transformation, interaction and the mechanisms of adaptation that happen amongst the creatures that share this particular bio-political system: foxes, badgers, deer, rabbits, dogs, horses, ravens, seagulls, robins, humans, trees, flowers and rocks. The figures are made of English porcelain and are the size of my hand. The choice of scale, material, and the care put in its fragile construction are an attempt to denaturalize and question the validity of the use of “foreigner”, a word used popularly in England in a pejorative and discriminatory sense.
Claudia Fontes is a visual artist who explores through her actions, objects and research the poetic space and alternative modes of perception of culture, nature, history and society that emerge from processes of decolonisation, be they personal, interpersonal, or social.
UK-based Argentinean artist, Fontes is currently representing Argentina at the Venice Biennale, with her large-scale sculptural installation The Horse Problem. She is also one of seven artists who have been invited to serve as the curatorial team for the upcoming Bienal de São Paulo, which opens in September 2018.
Fontes has exhibited widely internationally, including Documenta (13), Kassel, Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires, I.C.I. (Instituto de Cooperación Iberoamericana), and her sculpture Reconstruction of the Portrait of Pablo Miguez is permanently installed at Parque de la Memoria in Buenos Aires.
Her work features in public collections including MALBA (Museum for Latin American Art), MAMBA (Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art) and MACRO (Museum of Contemporary Art Rosario), as well as in private collections internationally.
In parallel to her artistic practice, she has spearheaded the creation of several artists’ networks of cooperation, and has generated spaces for the development of critical thought, particularly in relation to artist-led culture. Amongst them was TRAMA, a platform of cooperation amongst artists that became a strong point of reference for DIY, self organised visual artists culture both locally and internationally. Since 2013, she directs The Appreciation Society, a non-for-profit company based in England for the production of collective artistic projects worldwide, involving communities left out from the globalised art scene.