Foreigners Everywhere Favorite 



May 30 2012


parsons, New York, various

The Paris-based collective Claire Fontaine displays a neon sign that spells the words ‘Foreigners Everywhere’ in Arabic. Since this sign was installed strategically above the gallery’s wall-length window – facing in the street – in the edition of the show I saw, at Parsons in New York, it interacted not only with Parsons’ exhibition site but also with the urban environment beyond it.

Since 2005, Claire Fontaine’s neon signs have been displayed around the world in numerous languages, except for English. Claire Fontaine’s sign redefines the experience of foreignness and estrangement as universal conditions, reminding the viewer that we can all be – or have been – a foreigner to something, someone, somewhere at some point in time, supporting the show’s goal ‘to imagine the migrant as a figure, a conceptual entity, through which we may recognise our present-day selves’.3 ‘Foreigners Everywhere’, in calling into question the prevailing notion of the ‘foreigner’ as an outsider, gives new meaning to this term, recasting it as a crucial aspect of the human condition.

Posted by markee on