September 10, 2015 –
June 25, 2016
This year-long research season uses the work of the artist Andrea Fraser as a lens to think about our contemporary moment.

Our point of departure is the work of the artist Andrea Fraser. From there, a series of open questions map out a broad thematic territory for a year-long schedule of public events: reading groups, lectures, performances, screenings, and other events explore artists and ideas that emerge as related or as relevant in productive ways.

Please join the collective conversation as it evolves over the course of the year: attend an event, consult some of the online resources, and visit the Wattis bar for additional materials.

The reading group includes Patricia L Boyd, Elisa Durrette, Marcella Faustini, Karen Fiss, Jacqueline Francis, Ben Furstenberg, Jeanne Gerrity, Bean Gilsdorf, Patricia Maloney, Heidi Rabben, Ross Sappenfield, Jamie Stevens, Liz Thomas, and Tanya Zimbardo, with research assistance provided by Lisa Heinis and Leila Grothe.

With special thanks to Andrea Fraser.

Season 2: Andrea Fraser is on our mind is curated by Jamie Stevens.

(Learn more about our research seasons here.)

Andrea Fraser is on our mind.

Andrea Fraser, 'Soldadera (Scenes from Un banquete en Tetlapayac, a film by Olivier Debroise)', 1998/2001. Courtesy: Andrea Fraser and Galerie Nagel Draxler
Andrea Fraser, 'Soldadera (Scenes from Un banquete en Tetlapayac, a film by Olivier Debroise)', 1998/2001. Courtesy: Andrea Fraser and Galerie Nagel Draxler

Introduction by Jamie Stevens

“What do I, as an artist, provide? What do I satisfy?”
(Official Welcome, 2001)

So asks Andrea Fraser, in character as Andrea Fraser (before speaking as various other artists, patrons, and administrators, and amalgamations of them), in her 2001 performance Official Welcome. Fraser’s 30-year body of work can, without exception, be located back into the reframing and close examination of these two questions.

Fraser’s artistic practice takes the form of performances, videos, installations, workshops, texts, activism, and teaching—connected by a commitment to institutional critique that originated in the art realm and has recently grown to include entrenched social structures.

(...continue reading).

From September 2015 to June 2016:

We exhibited an artwork by Cameron Rowland. Ross Sappenfield wrote about Official Welcome. We presented a lecture by Shannon Jackson on Andrea Fraser. Lawrence Rinder introduced a screening of Olympia by the V-Girls. Andrea Fraser performed Men on the Line: Men Committed to Feminism, KPFK, 1972. Jacqueline Francis wrote about Men on the Line: Men Committed to Feminism, KPFK, 1972. Andrea Fraser hosted a group relations workshop led by Sidsel Meineche Hansen. Susan Mogul discussed stand-up comedy and cabaret. Rob Reich delivered a talk on gift-giving in the non-profit sector. Jeanne Gerrity wrote about Not just a few of us. Chelsea Knight performed a lecture in the form of an artist talk. Rhea Anastas and Robert Snowden had a conversation about Orchard. Karen Fiss wrote about Projection. John Russell gave a lecture. Divya Victor and Maged Zaher read poems. Bean Gilsdorf wrote about Official Welcome. Eric Golo Stone and Cameron Rowland hosted a six-hour screening and discussion on Services.

Click on the names above to read more about each one and to see/hear documentation.


We read and consulted a wide range of references including: “L’1%, C’est Moi” by Andrea Fraser, "Distinction" by Pierre Bourdieu, "What do I, as an artist, provide?" by Andrea Fraser, a video-taped conversation between Chris Dercon and Andrea Fraser, “How to Provide an Artistic Service: An Introduction” by Andrea Fraser, "MATRIX/Berkeley 123: The V-Girls" by Larry Rinder, “Inaugural Speech” by Andrea Fraser, “The Origins of Transference” by Melanie Klein, “What do we want from art, anyway? A conversation” by Gregg Bordowitz and Andrea Fraser, and “On Bullshit” by Harry Frankfurt.


A publication is available here, co-published by MIT Press and Westreich Wagner. Titled 2016 in Museums, Money, and Politics, it is an artist's book that examines the intersection of electoral politics and private-nonprofit art institutions in the United States at a pivotal historical moment. At more than 900 pages, the book offers a material representation of scale of the interface between cultural philanthropy and campaign finance in America and includes an introduction by Andrea Fraser and an afterword by Jamie Stevens.