April 21, 2016 - Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) - Andrea Fraser. L’1%, c'est moi
April 21, 2016

Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)

Andrea Fraser, Official Welcome, 2001/2003. Courtesy of the artist.

Andrea Fraser. L’1%, c'est moi
April 22–September 4, 2016

Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
Plaça dels Àngels, 1
08001 Barcelona
Spain

macba@macba.cat

macba.cat
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Andrea Fraser. L’1%, c'est moi
April 22–September 4, 2016

Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
Plaça dels Àngels, 1
08001 Barcelona
Spain

macba@macba.cat

macba.cat
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Curators: Cuauhtémoc Medina and Hiuwai Chu.
Exhibition organised and produced by the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona MACBA and the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo MUAC, Mexico City.



What do we want from art? Andrea Fraser addresses this question in her work and looks at the motivations of a wide range of cultural agents including artists, collectors, gallerists, patrons and audiences. Developing on site-specific and research-based approaches that emerged with Conceptualism, combined with feminist investigations of subjectivity and desire, her methods are rooted in the psychoanalytic principle that one can only engage structures and relationships in an immediate way, in their performance.

Associated with the practice of institutional critique, the core of Fraser’s work is a critical analysis of the art world. Her approach has also been strongly influenced by the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu’s theories of reflexive sociology and social fields. From this perspective, institutions are understood not only as specific organisations, such as museums, but as social fields, like the art world, that encompass a range of structures. These structures are not only institutionalised in museums and objectified in art works but are also internalised and performed by individuals. Fraser herself performs this process in her work, not by taking on the role of a specific person, but by enacting different social positions and the relationships between them. Infused with intellect and humour, her work challenges us to reflect on these different perspectives, as well as our own as participants in the field of art.

L’1%, c’est moi is Fraser’s first solo exhibition in Spain and brings together a selection of works from over 30 years of critical engagement with the art field, ranging from performance to installation, text-based works and documentation. The works are arranged in the following loosely organised and permeable groupings: 

Museums
As the primary institutional frame of art, museums play a central role in defining what art is and means. Through the art they present, museums also establish specific social and cultural values. Appropriating museums’ own languages and practices, Fraser has examined these values in works that take the form of gift-shop posters coupled with elaborate marketing copy, multimedia presentations that compete for the attention of audiences, gallery talks that preach dominant class values and audio guides that dictate how art should be consumed.

Globalisation
The 1990s witnessed the rise of art fairs and biennials worldwide, in which art became a commodity in a global economy of tourism and culture. The works in this section reflect on the development of this phenomenon, from the official exportation of American art to postwar Germany and post-colonial tourism in Africa, to the relationships between international biennial exhibitions, nationalism, neocolonialism and economic globalisation. 

It’s a beautiful show, isn’t it?
While artists and philosophers have ascribed a range of functions to art, sociologists have studied how art serves to manifest social hierarchies and establish cultural legitimacy. Influenced by Pierre Bourdieu’s key research into cultural consumption and social stratification, Fraser has undertaken a range of projects examining art, taste and social class. Her multi-voice performance May I Help You? explores how art (as well as architecture and design) can serve as an instrument of distinction, legitimation or de-legitimation, depending on one’s access to the competencies and dispositions that it demands.

Discarded Fantasies
While fantasy is sometimes opposed to reality, fantasy can also be understood as the material of our internal, emotional realities. The fantasies manifested in art crystallise, not only in artworks, but also in artistic identities and even institutions. Such fantasies are often ambivalent, representing not only our desires and aspirations but also our anxieties, frustrations and sense of failure—parts of ourselves that we project onto art and artists. Fraser explores these identities as points of intersection between our emotional investments in art and the political and social contexts of their performance.

The Personal and Political
Feminism revolutionised both art and activism by linking personal, private and emotional experience to political structures. While Fraser’s work can appear to vacillate between extremes of psychological and sociological, emotional and economic investigations, maintaining their link is one of the fundamental principles of her approach. This section includes both L’1% c’est moi (2011), an essay revealing the correlation between income inequality and the art market boom, and Projection (2008), a work based on psychotherapy sessions in which Fraser explores her own conflicted relationship to this market.

Collected and Archived
Institutional critique developed through a dual critique of the museum as the site of exhibition and the studio as the site of production of art works that must then circulate to museums and galleries to be seen. Site-specific and project-based approaches to artmaking developed in response to this critique, both to limit art’s circulation as a cultural commodity and to enable effective critical engagement in specific contexts. One consequence of Fraser’s commitment to these approaches is that many of her projects exist only as documentation.


Activities
April 22, 7pm
In conversation with Andrea Fraser and Cuauhtémoc Medina, curator of the exhibition

April 25, 7pm
Guided tour to L’1%, c’est moi by Cuauhtémoc Medina

June 8, 6:30pm
Conference: "Embodying Institutional Critique"
Panel discussion with Andrea Fraser and other guests to be announced

June 9, 7:30pm
May I Help You?, performance by Andrea Fraser


Publication
Andrea Fraser. De la crítica institucional a la institución de la crítica. Prologue by Cuauhtémoc Medina and texts by Andrea Fraser. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Dirección General de Artes Visuales; Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana; Palabra de Clío; Siglo XXI Editores/Barcelona: MACBA, 2016. 314 pp.
 

More information at www.macba.cat

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