Marie-Jo Lafontaine

° 1950

Born in Antwerp (), lives in Brussels ().

Marie-Jo Lafontaine photographs, paints and sculpts. She creates tapestries, paintings, sculptures and photo- and video installations. In her very varied oeuvre, she investigates different aspects of human identity. Without moralizing or answering the questions raised, the artist treats themes such as violence, identity, sexuality and death. Ambiguity is a recurrent characteristic in her oeuvre. Lafontaine’s protagonists occupy the middle ground between opposites like the saint and the scoundrel. Her subjects share this same dual nature. She treats, for example, the power of the attraction of death or the lust-related aspect of violence. The artist finds inspiration in philosophers and poets like Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Charles Baudelaire, Rainer Maria Rilke and Federico García Lorca. Her installations are often overwhelming in their monumental setup, the dramatic use of music, the fact that you literally have to step in, the near-ritual repetition of the same images… Escape is impossible. What we take in usually has more the effect of amazement than enlightenment. The figures that appear in her installations carry out various acts, but the storyline and context are lacking. It remains unclear who the protagonist is, where the scene is taking place, what happened before, what happened after. There are suggestions, but nothing is made explicit.

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