Museum Highlights: A Gallery Talk

A work made of color video, sound; 29 min. loop.
© 1989 Andrea Fraser

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  • A work made of color video, sound; 29 min. loop.

Date:

1989

Artist:

Andrea Fraser
American, born 1965

About this artwork

Andrea Fraser is a performance and video artist who has been regarded primarily as a pioneer of "institutional critique," since she structures her work around existing museum practices and protocols such as gallery talks and welcome speeches. Although they often begin rationally, her performances progressively unravel, frequently devolving into discussion of eccentric topics or performances of taboo behaviors. Spanning more than a decade, the five works in the Art Institute’s collection are among Fraser’s earliest and most influential creations.
Museum Highlights: A Gallery Talk documents Fraser’s use of an invented persona—a formally attired, uptight docent named Jane Castleton—to present a social history of the art museum that focuses, as one scholar described it, on the "relationships between class and taste, private philanthropy and public policy."1 The work was the first of its kind and remains a landmark in the recent history of performance art.
1 Yilmaz Dziewior, Andrea Fraser: Works, 1984 to 2003, exh. cat. (Dumont/D.A.P., 2003), p. 13. For more on Fraser, see Yilmaz Dziewior and Andrea Fraser, Andrea Fraser (DuMont, 2002); and Andrea Fraser and Alexander Alberro, Museum Highlights: The Writings of Andrea Fraser (MIT Press, 2007).
— Entry, Film, Video, New Media, Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 35 (1), pp. 98–99.

Currently Off View

Contemporary Art

Artist

Andrea Fraser

Title

Museum Highlights: A Gallery Talk

Origin

United States

Date

1989

Medium

Color video, sound; 29 min. loop

Credit Line

Contemporary Art Discretionary Fund; restricted gift of James Cahn and Jeremiah Collatz

Reference Number

2008.82

Copyright

© 1989 Andrea Fraser

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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