American artist Andrea Fraser is well-known for addressing the production and distribution of cultural capital within the field of art and its institutions in performances, videos, essays, installations and “services”. Associated with the legacy of institutional critique and site-specificity, her work links the economic and symbolic relations of this contested social sphere to the embodied habitus of subjects aiming at cultural legitimacy. Through humorous and sometimes provocative acts of performative self-instrumentalization, her sociologically and psychoanalytically informed work explores the art field’s agent’s (un)witting complicity in the reproduction of dominant mythologies.
For her edition for “Texte zur Kunst”, Fraser has produced a new print of an image from a series first created as 35mm transparencies in 1984. While some of the images in the series were reproduced in her 1984 artist book “Woman I / Madonna and Child”, others first appeared as photographic prints in 2005. In this series, painted depictions of femininity appropriated from slide-libraries are superimposed atop one another, montaging Renaissance figuration with expressionist modernist painting, thus focusing on the constructions and representations of the female subject in art history (and beyond). In this print, two contradictory depictions of femininity (the “virgin and the whore”) are collapsed to form a single, unstable body: the ideal purity of Raphael’s “Madonna and Child” meets the fierce, furious strokes of Willem de Kooning’s “Woman I”.
For Texte zur Kunst Andrea Fraser has conceived a work called “Untitled Drawing (de Kooning/Raphael)”, 1984/2007. The inkjet-print has a size of 48,2 x 33 cm cm and is signed and numbered on the back. It is an edition of 100 + 20 APs and costs 245,– euros plus shipping.