In her performances and installations, Andrea Fraser (1965, Billings, Montana, USA) seeks to stimulate public awareness of how the art system directly participates in neoliberal economic structures. Connected to institutional critique and feminism, Fraser dissects and analyzes plutocracy and patronage in the art world from the perspective of a wide range of cultural agents, including artists, collectors, galerists, sponsors, and the public itself. For her, the art world is not the institutional space but a field of interconnected structures and social relationships in which we are all involved. In her typical working methodology, Fraser begins by analyzing the specific context where she will carry out an action, and, from there, proposes direct actions of confrontation. Whether through discursive formats, such as seminars and public readings of texts and documents, or through performance, Fraser creates situations often imbued with humor, staging the different social positions that she herself is involved in.
Reporting from São Paulo, I'm from the United States (1998) is a performance-based video Fraser developed for the 24th Bienal de São Paulo, in 1998, as part of the exhibition section dedicated to the United States. The project took the form of a series of television reports in which the artist played the role of a reporter from TV Cultura (a Brazilian state-sponsored television network), interviewing artists, patrons, and political figures about the Bienal. The idea was for these news reports to be broadcast nationwide on TV Cultura, but in light of events at the time – tumultuous elections, floods that devastated the country and closed the Bienal, and the global economic crisis – they were never transmitted. The 24th Bienal, which was curated by Brazilian critic Paulo Herkenhoff, addressed the extended concepts of anthropophagy and cannibalism from different points of view and geographies; concepts that Fraser applied to the very fabric of the Bienal, in its financing and international relations, fruits of a perpetual neocolonial dependence.
Caroline A. Jones, Eyesight Alone: Clement Greenberg’s Modernism and the Bureaucratization of the Senses (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005).
Greenberg’s Modernism and the Bureaucratization of the Senses (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005).