Andrea Fraser is known for works that interrogate the practices and institutions of the art world, often performing roles such as curator, tour guide or celebrity artist. The work on view in this room scrutinises the figures of the artist and the collector, and the relationship between the two. Unlike many of her projects, Fraser is not taking on other people’s roles here: she is the artist, and a genuine, though anonymous, collector her collaborator.
Fraser initiated this project by asking one of her galleries to find a collector who would pre-buy a videotape documenting that collector having sex with the artist. The selection of the collector was left entirely up to the gallery. The result was a silent, unedited sixty-minute videotape shot in a hotel room with a stationary camera and existing lighting. The videotape was produced in an edition of five, the first of which went to the participating collector for an undisclosed sum.
All of my work is about what we want from art, what collectors want, what artists want from collectors, what museum audiences want… not only economically, but in more personal, psychological and affective terms, Fraser has said. By offering herself up for sale, she pushes this investigation and the viewer’s desire for intimacy with the artist to their logical extreme.