Jacqueline Fraser


For her first institutional exhibition in Switzerland, Jacqueline Fraser (*1956, New Zealand) presents a new site specific installation at Kunsthalle Zürich. It is the latest in a series of works, begun in 2011, that propose fictional remakes of arthouse and Hollywood films. In these, the premise and visual language of a select film is dismantled and reimagined. Fraser re-directs: using discarded fabric, torn magazines, party paraphernalia, plastics, veneers, tinsels, overlapping soundtracks and projections, she re-casts, re-scores and re-costumes the cinematic template as deconstructed storyboard.

From 8 ½ to Legally Blonde, Fraser selects films that could be deemed high brow or low. They narrate stories of ambitious characters moving up and out, by hook or by crook and often against social expectations of their race, gender or sexuality. Of course, these aren’t exactly ‘remakes’. Rather, the tone, context and atmosphere of these films are absorbed into sculptural arrangements and large-scale installations that feign to be as ostentatious as the characters and stories that inspire them – moving image arrested as art, posing as fashion, scored by rap and staged as theatre; narrative and its imagery circulating from one realm of fantasy to another.

This presentation is inspired by Tom Volf’s 2017 documentary about the soprano Maria Callas. Itself a found footage collage, the film traces the life of, arguably, the greatest opera star – both as a virtuoso and an icon of international acclaim – of the 20th century. In particular, the film details the staging of the diva-character ‘Callas’ by the person ‘Maria’, and the compromises this entailed for both.

Curated by Daniel Baumann and Matthew Hanson.

Biography: Jacqueline Fraser was born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1956, and has exhibited widely in a career that spans more than three decades. In addition to representing New Zealand at their inaugural presentation at the Venice Biennale in 2001, she has been shortlisted for the Walters Prize in New Zealand twice (2004, 2018), and for the Artes Mundi Prize in the United Kingdom (2004) and has had solo exhibitions at institutions including the New Museum, New York. Recent exhibitions include The Making of Dressed To Kill 2019 (2019), Bonny Poon, Paris; The Making of In the Heat of the Night 2018 (2018), Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki; and The Making of a Most Violent Year 2017 (2017), TG, Nottingham.

Jacqueline Fraser's exhibition was featured on as a Critic's Pick from Ian Wooldridge.

Fr 11.12.


Sa 12.12.