Claire Fontaine's "Redemption" Promises Spiritual Recycling at Metro Pictures

"Untitled (Redemptions)," 2011 (Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York)
"Untitled (Redemptions)," 2011 (Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York)
"Untitled (Redemptions)," 2011 (Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York)
"Untitled (Redemptions)," 2011 (Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York)

"Our image of happiness is indissolubly bound up with the image of redemption," the mysterious French art collective Claire Fontaine quotes from Walter Benjamin in the statement for her/their/its new show at Metro Pictures, "Some Redemptions." Fontaine's series of works termed "Redemptions" have come in many iterations, all riffing on that single idea.

Hanging bags full of recycled aluminum cans—each of which can literally be "redeemed," for a nickel—comment at once on collective history and the accessibility of that history through, as the statement details, "habits, repetition, recycling." Fontaine has previously filled entire rooms with these signature dangling bags; in this show, just a few of them are suspended in an installation dotted with other objects loaded with meaning. A dollar bill deliberately folded to reveal the word "TEARS" hangs on the wall; on the floor, bars of aluminum made of the reclaimed cans have imprinted with the word "REDEMPTION."

The show runs through August 31, giving gallery-goers a chance to meditate on a resonant idea during these last days of summer. To see images from "Some Redemptions," click the slide show above. 


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