The exhibition will feature a series of photographs and a video, both of which explore art historical representations through the use of appropriated material.
On view for the first time in the United States, the photographs are recent prints from slides created by the artist in 1984. The slides were produced by superimposing and re-photographing slides of works by Renaissance and Modern masters Titian, Raphael, Pollock and de Kooning that were borrowed from museum slide-libraries or purchased at museum gift shops. The images, related to a series originally published in an artist book that took the form of a fictitious exhibition brochure, Woman1/Madonna and Child 1506-1967 (1984), aimed to examine how art history constructs the artist as a transhistorical subject, and, in particular, how that construction is articulated in relation to representations of women. The resulting images are dissonant and grotesque, a mash-up of Renaissance figuration and Modernist abstraction in which Raphael’s Madonna meets her opposite in de Kooning’s women, and Titian’s Venus disintegrates under Pollocks all-over field.
Also on view is A Visit to the Sistine Chapel, 2005, a video commissioned by Brancolini Grimaldi and filmed at the Vatican Museum. Like Little Frank and His Carp, 2001, a video filmed at the Guggenheim Bilbao, A Visit to the Sistine Chapel follows Fraser as she enters a museum and tries to be a good visitor, doing what she’s told by the audio guide. However, instead of being commanded to sensually stroke the museum walls, as at the Guggenheim, the Vatican Museum guide tells Fraser to be pious—a difficult task in the context of the mass tourism that has turned the Vatican into a religious Disneyland rather than the meditative sanctuary the guide professes it to be.