Foreigners are a series of small figures, which I began to make in response to the English landscape that surrounds me and to my cultural understanding of it as a foreigner. These small-scale sculptures, resembling collectable china figurines, are the size of my hand. The choice of scale, the material, and the care I put in their fragile construction are an attempt to denaturalize and question the validity of the word “foreigner”, used popularly in England in a pejorative and discriminatory sense.
These figurines depict processes of metamorphosis and hybridisation amongst the creatures I share this particular bio-political system with: trees, plants, rocks and fungi.
“Foreigner” and “Forest” share the same root, “foris”, which means outside -outside the house, the city, the country, and outside of our own understanding of the world as humans.
Apparently the experience of weighing something in our hand is crucial in the formation of concepts in our mind. There is this hypothesis that attempts to explain the size of Neolithic figurines, that says that they could have had the specific function of creating the concept of ‘person’ in our mind at the very point when we started exploiting our environment.
Foreigners, 2013 to 2015
Flaxseed paper porcelain
All figures same scale at 20/25 cm height
Photographs by ©Bernard G. Mills
8 Booths You Won’t Want to Miss at Frieze New York 2019
Artnet, 1 May 2019
Anonymous Figures Struggle Against Nature in Porcelain Sculptures by Claudia Fontes
by Laura Staugaitis for This is Colossal, 15 Feb 2018
Frieze New York, FRAME section programme. May 2019
Foreigners By Claudia Fontes
by Alice Finney for Ignant
‘Foreigners’, los extranjeros de Claudia Fontes
by Nuria Candela López for Good2be, 14 April 2018
Extranjeros de Claudia Fontes en Frieze New York
by Eugenia Viña for Ramona, 29 April 2019