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
- Color video, sound; 29 min. loop
- Contemporary Art Discretionary Fund, purchased with funds provided by James Cahn and Jeremiah Collatz
- © 2003 Andrea Fraser