lundi 17 décembre 2007

A redécouvrir : Museum Highlights, The Writings of Andrea Fraser

Un ouvrage important (réunissant 19 textes, avec une préface de Pierre Bourdieu écrite en 1998) où Andrea Fraser retrace l'espace des possibles par rapport auquel elle se situe.

Museum Highlights
The Writings of Andrea Fraser
Andrea Fraser
Edited by Alexander Alberro

Table of Contents
List of Illustrations xii
Foreword: Revolution and Revelation
Pierre Bourdieu xiv
Acknowledgments xvi
Introduction: Mimicry, Excess, Critique
Alexander Alberro xxii
1 An Artist's Statements (1992) 3
2 In and Out of Place (1985) 17
3 "Creativity = Capital"? (1986) 29
4 It's Art When I Say It's Art, or. . . (1995) 37
5 What's Intangible, Transitory, Mediating, Participatory, and Rendered in the Public Sphere? (1996) 47
6 What's Intangible, Transitory, Mediating, Participatory, and Rendered in the Public Sphere? Part II(1996) 55
7 "To Quote," Say the Kabyles, "Is to Bring Back to Life" (2002) 81
8 Notes on the Museum's Publicity (1990) 91
9 Museum Highlights: A Gallery Talk (1989) 95
10 A Letter to the Wadsworth Atheneum (1991) 115
11 Welcome to the Wadsworth (1991) 123
12 Aren't They Lovely? An Introduction (1992) 141
13 A Speech on Documenta (1992) 149
14 How to Provide an Artistic Service: An Introduction (1994) 153
15 What Do I, as an Artist, Provide? (A Speech at the EA-Generali Foundation) (1995) 163
16 Slashing the American Canvas, or, Why I Would Rather Have a Day Job (1998) 169
17 A "Sensation" Chronicle (2001) 179
18 Official Welcome (2001) 213
19 Isn't This a Wonderful Place? (A Tour of a Tour of the Guggenheim Bilbao) (2003) 233
Bibliography 261
Index 266

Andrea Fraser's work, writes Pierre Bourdieu in his foreword to Museum Highlights, is able to "trigger a social mechanism, a sort of machine infernale whose operation causes the hidden truth of social reality to reveal itself." It often does this by incorporating and inhabiting the social role it sets out to critique—as in a performance piece in which she leads a tour as a museum docent and describes the men's room in the same elevated language that she uses to describe seventeenth-century Dutch paintings. Influenced by the interdisciplinarity of postmodernism, Fraser's interventionist art draws on four primary artistic and intellectual frameworks—institutional critique, with its site-specific examination of cultural context; performance; feminism, with its investigation of identity formation; and Bourdieu's reflexive sociology. Fraser's writings form an integral part of her artistic practice, and this collection of texts written between 1985 and 2003—including the performance script for the docent's tour that gives the book its title—both documents and represents her work.

The writings in Museum Highlights are arranged to reflect different aspects of Fraser's artistic practice. They include essays that trace the development of critical "artistic practice" as cultural resistance; performance scripts that explore art institutions and the public sphere; and texts that explore the ambivalent relationship of art to the economic and political interests of its time. The final piece, "Isn't This a Wonderful Place? (A Tour of a Tour of the Guggenheim Bilbao)," reflects on the role of museums in an era of globalization. Among the book's 30 illustrations are stills from performance pieces, some never before published.

About the Author

Andrea Fraser is an artist who lives and works in New York City.

Alexander Alberro is Virginia Bloedel Wright '51 Associate Professor of Art History at Barnard College. He is the author of Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity (2000), and coeditor (with Blake Stimson) of Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology (2000), both published by the MIT Press.

(Gilbert Quélennec)

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