Arendt & Art Event
The exhibition is on view at Arendt House until the 15 April 2017:Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.Saturday, Sunday and holidays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The world flashes by. And with him, Marie-Jo Lafontaine, alert to the four corners of the globe and its many languages, keeps time with a host of works, exhibitions and projects which are constantly being renewed. This adventure has taken her from Ottawa to Copenhagen, from Oslo to Amsterdam, from Milan to Seoul, from Dusseldorf to Lisbon and from Sydney to Brussels, which she calls home.
But against this hectic background, certain artists stand out over time through a form of persistence in which hope and complexity can still share a space. And the idea that a combination of rigour and enchantment is needed to ensure this resistance – for it is resistance, though in a fundamentally progressive form – has been developed by Marie-Jo Lafontaine for more than thirty years, giving her work all the breadth and coherence that we expected. Today, and as it will be the case tomorrow even more so, the whole wide world seems to be responding to her fundamental questionings.
Whether in monochrome intensity or monumental sculpture, the video sculptures that were the hallmark of her very early career in photography and video reveal a full spectrum of reflections on the body, human beings, technology and its relationship with the Earth unfolding in her coherent universe.
Marie-Jo Lafontaine’s position is confirmed by her unwavering approach. Not only in the global field of contemporary art, but also politically and philosophically. At a time when systems have lost their direction and are seeking to restore some meaning to democracy, Marie-Jo Lafontaine’s entire work draws attention to sensitive issues, returning mankind to a place in the universal dance.
Marie-Jo Lafontaine is not the “contemporary artist”. Standing above all the chatter, she continues to pick out a path of satisfying integrity, knowing as she does that “in art as in life, the commentator is usually more aware and more lucid than the commentated on. It’s the advantage of the killer over the victim.” (Emil Cioran, Romanian philosopher). Indeed, her work does not act for itself: she understands that the artist disappears before the work.
Setting aside its personal and original distress, her work reaches into the shared and complementary nature of beings and knowledge. She has woven into her perspectives and approaches a combination of skills and ways of seeing that allow for discussion rather than posing.
François Delvoye (curator and artistric director, Delvoyeurs, Brussels)
Please click here to learn more about the artist.