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press release

Hammer Projects: Andrea Fraser
18.05.2019 - 15.09.2019

Since the 1980s, Andrea Fraser has achieved renown for performances that interrogate social structures with humor and pathos, aligning herself with feminism and institutional critique. While Fraser’s video and performance works are often associated with investigations of art institutions, her performances since the early 2000s evidence a turn toward analyzing how broader sociopolitical structures condition the personal. Representative of this turn is Men on the Line: Men Committed to Feminism, KPFK, 1972 (2012), a video installation that will be on view at the Hammer. For this work Fraser edited a little-known Pacifica Radio archival recording of four men articulating their affinities with and support for feminism and women’s rights. Fraser performs this group discussion as a one-woman show, a move that complicates the institution of gender through dramatic acting and discursive production. This slippage in and out of personas finds Fraser highlighting how socially defined identities shape the enactment of our politics.

In conjunction with the video installation, the Hammer will premiere a new performance by Fraser in the museum's Billy Wilder Theater exploring the political and cultural polarization of American society.

The Hammer currently owns six of Fraser’s single-channel video works as part of the Hammer Contemporary Collection. Coinciding with the exhibition is the release of Andrea Fraser: Collected Interviews, 1990–2018, a publication coedited by the art historian Rhea Anastas and artists Alejandro Cesarco and Andrea Fraser, and published by A.R.T. Press and Koenig Books, London. The publication presents the artist’s voice in dialogue with interlocutors ranging from professional peers to journalists from the popular media and contextualizes Fraser’s practice in the artistic, institutional, and discursive fields in which she intervenes.

Hammer Projects: Andrea Fraser is organized by Connie Butler, chief curator, with Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi, curatorial assistant.

Biography
Andrea Fraser (b. 1965, Billings, MT) lives and works in Los Angeles, where she is the department chair and professor of the UCLA Department of Art. Her work has been the subject of major retrospectives at Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (2016); Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City (2016); Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria (2015); and Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2013). Other solo exhibitions of note include those presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2016); MAK Center at the Schindler House, Los Angeles (2014); and Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (2010), among others. Fraser has performed at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2017, 2012, 2010); Volksbuene Berlin (2014); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2013); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2012); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2010); and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2009), among others. She participated in SiteLines, Santa Fe (2018); Prospect.3 New Orleans (2014); and Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2012, 1993). Fraser was the recipient of a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant (2017); the 2016 Oskar Kokoschka Prize, awarded by the Austrian Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft und Forschung; and the 2013 Wolfgang Hahn Prize, awarded by the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst am Museum Ludwig, Cologne. Her most recent book, 2016 in Museums, Money, and Politics, appeared in 2018.