Nika Fontaine Calcination
Opening Sept. 3rd 2021
Show: Sept. 3rd – Nov. 23rd 2021
officially part of DC Open
For information & available works:
Nika Fontaine Calcination
Nika Fontaine’s idea for the series “Calcination” emerged in 2017 while she prepared her residency at the European Ceramic Workshop Center of 2019. A turning point in her artistic production occurred while she decided to part from the glitter and engage in a profound research on the 7 transmutation steps of Alchemy.
Each step would be the driver of a series of series.
Calcination or Calcio in Latin, initiates the process through what appears to be a violent act of destruction, agonie and purgation. On the contrary, this dance with fire seeks to liberate the seeker from their fears, limiting beliefs and ego driven behaviors.
Engulfing oneself in the mind propelled by Ego, a feeling of disharmony, separation and need will emerge. We live in times where the ego and ego driven enterprises are shaping the world and our relationships to ourselves and others. The selfie culture, quick fame and exploitative corporations are falling appray to the void left by such disconnection to nature and spirit.
Today we are noticing the apotheosis of such disparity when a CEO is flying to space while his workers aren’t allowed bathroom breaks.
The series calcination depicts landscapes of absolute transformation which are not always pink and glittery, but more often than not painful and frightening. Skulls engulfed in fire are used as a symbol for anonymity and oneness of the souls. Fire storms erupting from the sky, depict the purifying forces of spirit over matter.
A comforting and soothing moment is established by the arrival of the Phoenix paintings. The mythological figure emphasizes the cyclical process, by which, after the fire, comes rebirth. The intense movement on the painterly surface is enhanced by the layers of oil paint applied over a pigmented and carefully crackled marble dust ground. Like in older paintings, fissures testify of time passing which can grant the artist and the work of art new meanings and perspectives. Though here Fontaine is allowing the materials to bare naked the profound surface by shattering the illusions of materiality.
‘’There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in’’ Leonard Cohen
An uncanny sense of humor nonetheless appears in the paintings which transcend the positive nature of this necessary timeless process. In this body of work, we discover Nika’s interest for outsider artists, rock and roll, anonymous artists of the middle ages, but especially we see that she has studied with a lot of detail Francois de Nome’s oeuvre. This painter, or group of painters (we still don’t know) were active in Neapel during the barrock. His/her or their paintings were revolutionary by showing large cathedrals falling into pieces, torn down by violent earthquakes. Such artistic audacity depicting the fall of limiting the belief systems is admired by Nika.
Today we discover that Nika’s calcination series embodies a poignant Zeitgeist. For some years we have been witnessing the devastating wildfires caused by climate change as well as the blazing of Notre-Dame de Paris. Such imagery of destruction is flooding the media. In a certain way, society and nature is going through a calcination process too.
“ Devil (major arcana) XV” based in the Tarot de Marseille after @alejandro.jodorowsky and #philippecamoin
the devil means Unconscious Forces, Passion, Creativity.
In the Mid 90’s #alejandrojodorowski worked together with Philippe Camoin, whose family had printed the Tarot de Marseille since the 19th century, to piece together the ideal deck. About the devil, they wrote:
“This is the card that reveals the active dimension of the female and the passive dimension of the male, the two energies combining to create the
hermaphrodite devil, who has both breasts and a penis on his body.”
“DC Open Doors”
Friday, Sep. 3rd 2021, 11am-10pm
Saturday, Sep. 4th 2021, 11am-8pm
Sunday, Sep. 5th 2021, 11am-6pm