'Poems are like sentences that have taken their clothes off.' Marlene Dumas' poetic and sensual refrain accompanies her figurative watercolours on view in Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life, the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) in the southern state of Kerala, India (12 December 2018–29 March 2019).Dumas' new series...
The paintings of Ellen Altfest are ethereal in their detail. Fields of minutiae come together as pulsating images; small brushstrokes of oil paint accumulate over a series of months to single out seemingly innocuous subjects, such as a hand resting atop patterned fabric (The Hand, 2011) or a deep green cactus reaching upwards from beneath a bed of...
On the rooftop of the former Rio Hotel complex in Colombo, it was hard to ignore the high-rise buildings, still under construction, blocking all but a sliver of what used to be an open view over Slave Island, once an island on Beira Lake that housed slaves in the 19th century, and now a downtown suburb. The hotel was set alight during the...
In her ninth solo exhibition at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Jacqueline Fraser presents a series of vignettes. Through the playful collage of wigs, ribbons, luxury French textiles and backlit photographs, Fraser proposes a 2016 version of the original 1962 film L’Eclisse (Eclipse) by Michelangelo Antonioni. Fragments of pop-cultural imagery and juxtaposed textures are framed under glass, displayed as theatrical glimpses into an entirely fictional cinematic oeuvre.
THE MAKING OF L’ECLISSE 2016 follows on from previous solo exhibitions at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, which explored the same theme of movie re-makes. Each series is totally fictional. The original film title is a trigger immediately forgotten, but creates a context for the subject.
Fraser describes her interest in how movies cut across a shared memory. Drawing from television, rap music, the internet, fashion, art, historic music, the intellectual sphere, trash and strange languages, they can be emotional, violent, gorgeous and ugly. Fraser describes the social impact of film as follows:
Movies have become everyone’s subject. They are the common talking points in any group situation. I was waiting in McDonalds for my car to be repaired in a suburban wilderness. Three men wearing filthy overalls were discussing American Gangster in such depth that I had to make my happy meal last long enough to hear it all, it was so engrossing. After that, I exhibited a slowed-down double projection of American Gangster and the courier drivers and other disinterested accidental visitors all stayed and watched.
That’s when I realised I could use digital projections, the latest lightbox technology, installations, large plastic collages and beautiful framed French fabric and backlit photos, to broaden existing movie titles. The only change I make is to add the current year, to show that they are possibilities of a fictional remake, echoing “making of…” trailers that present film bloopers, alternate endings, as well as director and actor insights.
Through her work, Fraser connects to a wide, popular audience, integrating diverse aesthetic elements such as downloaded music, and presenting her work in urban settings to create a lure for new people who are nervous of contemporary art. In doing so, she perturbs the distinctions of ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture, challenging the pretensions of the contemporary art world.
Jacqueline Fraser has exhibited widely through Europe, the United States and Australasia in a career that spans more than three decades. An acclaimed figure on the international stage, Fraser represented New Zealand in their inaugural presentation at the Venice Biennale in 2001, and in the same year presented a solo exhibition at the New Museum in New York. This was followed by a special commission for the group show Superstars at Kunsthalle Wien in 2005. Her forthcoming solo exhibition THE MAKING OF IGBY GOES DOWN 2016 will be shown at the TG Gallery, Nottingham, United Kingdom. Last year Fraser’s work was exhibited in a group exhibition entitled Small Faces, Large Sizes at the Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, Istanbul and has previously been selected for major international group shows at the Tel Aviv Museum of Modern Art, Tel Aviv (2012), New Museum, New York City (2011), and the Artes Mundi Prize, United Kingdom (2004). Her work is held in significant private and public collections in New Zealand, Australia, Asia, Europe and the USA.
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