Skip to Content
Today Open today 11–5

Official Welcome

A work made of color video, sound; 29 min. loop.
© 2003 Andrea Fraser

Image actions

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




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.

Both Inaugural Speech and Official Welcome parody the rhetorical functions of institutional opening events. Inaugural Speech deals with the politics of international group exhibitions of contemporary art in an era of increasing globalization. Official Welcome questions the relationship between artists and patrons: at one point, Fraser completely disrobes to suggest the inherent exhibitionism involved in presenting art. The intelligence, clarity, and forcefulness of such performances have ensured the Fraser’s oeuvre remains a touchstone for critically engaged art of the 1990s and beyond.


Currently Off View


Contemporary Art


Andrea Fraser


Official Welcome


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Color video, sound; 29 min. loop

Credit Line

Contemporary Art Discretionary Fund, purchased with funds provided by James Cahn and Jeremiah Collatz

Reference Number



© 2003 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 . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions