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EXHIBITION: ANDREA FRASER: BOXED SET

February 11—April 4, 2010

Opening reception with the artist Wednesday, March 24
following "The Church of What's Happening Now: Andrea Fraser in Conversation with Marjorie Garber and Helen Molesworth"
Thompson Room, Barker Center, 12 Quincy Street, 6 pm

Andrea Fraser works with appropriation, language, performance, and video. This exhibition highlights five of her video works made between 1989 and 2001: Museum Highlights, May I Help You?, Welcome to the Wadsworth, Inaugural Speech, and Official Welcome. Fraser grouped these works together, produced them in an unlimited edition, and made them available for purchase in a “boxed set,” which the Harvard Art Museum acquired in 2008. 

While Fraser’s capacity as a performer develops noticeably during the period represented here, her fundamental realm of inquiry remains consistent. Her concern is the systems and institutions through which contemporary art is displayed, distributed, publicized, and performed: the museum, the commercial art gallery, and the global biennial. Borrowing official language from annual reports, feasibility studies, letters from the director, and newspaper clippings, Fraser creates a series of near-seamless assemblages of standardized art talk. The affect ranges from parody to melancholy, but each video reveals the ways in which the institutions of art are permeated by the structures of patriarchy and capitalism, and not, as we have so often been told, timeless and removed from business as usual.

This exhibiton was organized by guest curator Helen Molesworth, Maisie K. and James R. Houghton Curator of Contemporary Art at the Harvard Art Museum.


Inaugural Speech, 1997, performance, single-channel videotape, 22 minutes.

Fraser was born in 1965 in Billings, Montana. She attended New York University, the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program, and the School of Visual Arts. Solo exhibitions, solo performances and projects include:  Projection, Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York (2009), Galerie Christian Nagel, Cologne (2008); Franz Hals Museum, Haarlem The Netherlands (2007); What do I, as an artist, provide?, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis; Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York; May I Help You?, in conjunction with “Louise Lawler: Twice Untitled and other Pictures”, Wexner Center for the Arts (2006); Official Welcome, at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Dia:Chelsea, New York, and the Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna (2005); Galeria Brancolini Grimaldi, Rome and Florence; Official Welcome, BALTIC, Newcastle, in conjunction with “History of Disappearance: Live; Art from New York 1975-Present”; May I Help You, Orchard, New York, Untitled, Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York (2004); Um Monumento às Fantasias Descartadas, American Fine Arts, Co., New York; Andrea Fraser, Works: 1984 to 2003, Dunkers Kunsthus, Helsingborg, Sweden (2003); and Official Welcome, Miami, sponsored by Creative Time in conjunction with Art Basel Miami Beach.

Selected group exhibitions include Gallery Zaki Rosenfeld, Tel Aviv; Video Association of Dallas; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; the Hayward Southbank Centre, London; Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, Spain; Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, Karlsuhe, Germany; Columbus College of Art & Design; the Tate Modern; Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; and Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rome. Her work is in the public collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Centre Georges Pompidou; Fogg Art Mueum; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art; and the Tate Modern, London. She has received fellowships from Art Matters Inc., the National Endowment for the Arts, and New York Foundation for the Arts. She has taught at University of California, Los Angeles, the Maine College of Art, Vermont College, the Whitney Independent Study Program, Columbia University School of the Arts, and the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College.