Claire Fontaine Sell your Debt

Claire Fontaine


The crisis has forced many people into debt, while others have reaped benefits. Indeed, there is a lively trade in debts where companies sell their outstanding debts to collection agencies or finance companies. They collect some of the money and transfer the risk that the claim will ever be paid to the buyer. A form of silent exploitation, where you as an individual suddenly find yourself in debt to a new party. Why is this allowed actually, beyond the control of the debtor? Why can’t the debtor benefit? What if people could sell their own debts?

As a self-proclaimed readymade artist, Claire Fontaine is developing a body of work that often looks like other people’s work, executed in neon, video, sculpture, painting and text. The collective examines the reuse of existing image elements to create new meanings, and questions the lack of individuality in contemporary art. By working with ready mades, they recycle historical forms, but then imbue them with topical content. Major themes are political impotence and the consequences of capitalism, such as debt, earnings and the disappearance of the human dimension.