Andrea Fraser’s video installation Projection stages a psychotherapy session in which the viewer is addressed as therapist, patient and voyeuristic spectator.
The title is a play on two uses of the word ‘projection’: in the technical sense as the display of a moving image, and in psychoanalysis as the unconscious transfer of desires or emotions to an external object. The work is based on the transcripts of real psychotherapy consultations, adapted into twelve monologues in the form of one-sided dialogues which alternated so that Fraser plays the roles of both therapist and patient. Looking directly into the camera, Fraser creates the effect of interacting with the image on the opposite wall as well as with the viewer in the middle of the room, who becomes the object, or screen, of each projection.
Projection is partly intended to reveal aspects of the unspoken relations between artists, artworks and viewers, whereby the consumption of art becomes, to an extent, a role-playing exercise. Since the mid-1980s, Fraser has been central to the development of a kind of artistic practice known as institutional critique, which investigates the wider social, semantic and economic structures behind the presentation of art, particularly in the context of museums. With Projection, she turns her attention to psychological structures, highlighting the affective and psychological mechanisms which play a subtle yet crucial role in the experience of artworks.
Andrea Fraser was born in 1965 in Billings, Montana. She lives and works in Los Angeles.
Curated by Valentina Ravaglia