Burning Desire

We've travelled, we've congregated, we've eaten and some of us have even prayed a little, all in the name of Christmas. I've had a lot to think about this season; whether I should succumb to 'tradition' (or should that read detention?) and celebrate with people I see once a year, only to end up doing and talking about the same things as if on script, or not celebrate in this manner by default and be with friends who I genuinely want to see and catch up with. Dilemma? It doesn't have to be, and it wasn't when I decided the holiday season is called holiday for a reason. My very own Nightmare before, during and after Christmas was never to be. It felt great! Hardly revolutionary I know, but when you think about what Christmas and all its trimmings has become over the years, I'm opting out - this year, next year and forever Amen. I've sadly witnessed the act of gift-giving more of a necessity than a genuine sentiment, like a material currency that was only intended for visual effect under the 'perfect' tree so it could be exchanged or returned the following day for something more 'perfect' ... less Christmas spirit, more in the name of Christmas I think. Half of you reading this will either have already forged across the post-Christmas war zones of department stores while the other half will have watched in amusement at the sight of people worshiping a large red sign with white letters reading 'SALE' like a Barbara Kruger performance in motion. It was appropriate therefore, when I came across the work of Claire Fontaine and her current exhibition, Consumption, at Helena Papadopoulos Gallery in Athens, Greece. The mixed media installation revolves around a wall piece which the show is named after. Created out of one-hundred thousand match-sticks, the word 'CONSUMPTION' engulfs the space, drawing you in to discover its material genetics. Fontaine's practice looks at the conditions of contemporary living where consumption has become a main activity as well as a personal destiny. In the same way life is temporal, the work and it's fragility to burn away produces a strong message that perfectly reflects what we are seeing in the media over this period which is sadly, all in the name of Christmas
For more information about the exhibition that runs to the 15th January 2011 as well as the artist's work visit the gallery's website here.