More Matter of Fact

Following on from the previous post, Andrea Fraser’s effort at desublimation is better yet. I think it transcends the obvious caption, “art as prostitution.” Again it’s totally objective, but it hits hard when we consider that it “really” happened. The effect of the real, if you would have it that way, is working well, which means it’s been reinvented in this piece. Apparently she made efforts to protect the identity of her client/collector, by ensuring his face is not clear in the video, but I don’t think he asked for that—they are her scruples. There’s a level of feeling in this piece that Koons never has. An artist not afraid to go all the way with her work is always going to access feeling. Fraser may be the critical conceptualist, and Koons the parodist of painting, but she makes him seem too much the idea artist. But then maybe Fraser’s piece seems realer to me because in it a woman is taking the initiative. In both this piece and Koons’ the partner is a cipher. Despite her extravert behavior as a stripper, and her political shenanigans in Italy, La Cicciolina has a strangely bland persona, at least as it appears to me—but then I don’t have any experience of her outside of Koons’s work. In both of these works the artist is fully in control, but then they are the ones who are taking the risk. It would be interesting to imagine a genuinely collaborative sex piece, or perhaps one in which there were two competing agendas.

Andrea Fraser, Untitled 2003

Andrea Fraser, Untitled 2003

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