Claire Fontaine, ‘Untitled (Open)’, 2012, Air de Paris

Nope is an anagram of the neon sign OPEN, an iconic objet of American commercial culture and a wonderful ready-made, because of its metaphysical implications (openness can be a moral position, an attitude that just welcomes possibilities). Her sign looks exactly like the original object, it has the same colors and the same form, but the letters that compose the word have changed position and have transformed it into a laconic and depressed negation: “nope”. NOPE advertises gratuitous negativity and generic refusal, it’s a variation of Bartleby’s famous sentence “I would prefer not to”.

Image rights: © All rights reserved. Courtesy Air de Paris, Paris.

Love is never enough, 31.10-19.12.2015, Air de Paris

About Claire Fontaine

A Paris-based collective founded in 2004, Claire Fontaine is named after a brand of French notebooks and stationery. In an attempt to identify the transformed position of “the artist”, Claire Fontaine has conceived of the “readymade artist,” which considers the contemporary artist as equivalent to Marcel Duchamp’s urinal or Andy Warhol’s Brillo Box. The collective has developed a practice in which existing forms and materials—such as ephemeral-object sculpture, installation, video, painting, infographics, and neon—are crafted into works that critique political and aesthetic norms of the art world.

French, Founded 2004, based in Paris, France