top of page

Liv Fontaine

Claire May Tomas

Sketch Show (2016)

it isn't is it?

This is it. It isn't is it? Oh it is. There has to be more, no? Why are we all sooooo docile though? The 33rd online exhibition on isthisit is loosely based around institutional critique and frustrations with censorships and the 'art world'. Titled 'it isn't is it?' the name is a direct critique of the online exhibition space itself and critique is imbedded from the outset. Artist Liv Fontaine’s work ‘Let’s talk about art’ consists of Liv voicing her frustrations with the current cultural climate. 'Can U pay my rent please’, 'I can't even afford the submission fee for your grant' are lines in the work that resonate with me the most. The work also incorporates the irritation that occurs when your work consists of critiquing the commodified sexual woman, which then in turn becomes something that works against you; ' thinking is working and working is thinking but thinking isn't paying, but I gotta keep making.' Ugh, same! The work sits alongside Lilli Mathod’s cultural interference ‘Sketch Show’, which is wrapped up with contemporary comment within the guise of menial office conversation. In turn showing how bored she is with the everyday. The work is reminiscent of artist day jobs and I was particularly interested in the notion of these jobs informing practice. Mathod portrays many characters throughout her sketches with an air of absurdity in the mundane or albeit familiar. 'Are you tired of being overworked, underpaid, devalued and unloved day after day' (YES!) Mathod states as she considers very similar problems as Fontaine. The works flow symbiotically with sardonic undertones. Fontaine dominates the exhibition and Mathod compliments it. Both works consist of women talking to the screen and at times you see symmetry in the work, whether they are looking at each other or both looking at you, the viewer, through the screen. Liv’s shorter performance repeating on a loop only emphasizes the message more alongside Lilli's durations piece. Together they approach the issue of institutional critique in unison. For me, it was important that the works sat on this online exhibition space and not AFK as I am interested in the accessibility and affordability that the internet promises to uphold, becoming an embodiment of institutional critique in its own form.

Curated by Helena Kate Whittingham

bottom of page