|Artwork created during residency.|
|Artwork created prior to residency.|
Residency: October – November 2012
Constructed and installed a prototype version of proposed project, an alteration of a city distance sign. The center of each arrow shaped sign is gridded metal cage designed to hold cast letters made from birdseed. The texts are names of extinct cities such as Khami or Pompeii which will attract wildlife to gradually consume each name. Using off-the-shelf letter molds, I tested recipes for casting the seed-cakes, eventually casting two sets of city names for use in the signs during a trial run in the front yard of Sculpture Space. The installation and the gradual consumption of the texts were documented throughout the final 5 weeks of the residency.
Animal Behavior videos:
Filmed a series of short video pairings depicting the installation of powdered chalk texts in the back-yard of the residence. Each text is a description of an ‘animal behavior’. The first text in each pairing (using white chalk) is succinct and without flourish. The second text (using red chalk) repeats the first in verbose language. The camera position is identical throughout, framing a scruffy, fenced-in yard where parked cars are sometimes visible. Leaves color and fall as the videos progress. The weather and light vary, with snow on the ground in the later videos. The performer is also identical throughout, though he wears cloths that match the color of the chalk being installed.
A series of small sculptures using split pieces of rough firewood. One face of each piece is fire-branded with a short text derived from the subject-lines of SPAM emails, which are often seeking to sell erectile-dysfunction drugs or cheap luxury goods. The language is frequently hackneyed, rife with strange grammar and misuse of words leading to unintended implica- tions. Displayed in clusters or small groupings.
An experimental set of sketches, using 2” thick foam panels sold for insulating houses. Using a set of 2” branding irons in a plain sans serif font, short phrases were branded as open holes in the panels. The interior edges of the holes are bubbly and organic, covered in black char and hardened melted plastic, directly contrasting the straight edges and sharp corners of the foam block. The edge of the letters on the panel’s surface is irregular and soft, sometimes barely legible as a letter-form.
The surfaces of several panels were painted and/or varnished in an amber shellac, giving the surface a hardened skin that burns and forms a crust when branded.
The phrases used were a mix of found texts and phrases describing clumsy methods of communication, methods frequently failing to express the authors intent.
About the Artist:
Nicholas Fraser’s most recent projects include Ground Rules, a performance/installation in Nizhny Tagil, Russia as artist-in-residence for the 2nd Ural Biennale and new public installations for the Art Prospect Festival in St. Petersburg, both in September 2012. He will be a funded resident artist at the Sculpture Space in Utica, NY in the autumn of 2012.
Fraser is a 2012 BRIC Media Fellow and was a 2011 artist-in-residence at the LMCC’s SwingSpace Residency on Governors Island in New York. While in residence, he completed Branding Projects, fire-branding texts into tree stumps clustered near the 200-year-old Fort Jay. These installations are semi-permanent.
Fraser’s ephemeral installations were recently featured at the Flux Factory, the Bronx Art Space and in the exhibition Escape from New York in a former silk dying factory in Paterson, NJ. Two installa- tions were also included in the 2009 Art in Odd Places Festival along 14th street.
Fraser’s semi-invisible wall texts were featured in Mixed Messages at La Mama La Galeria and at Taller Boricua. His video work was included in PixelPops 2011 in Paris, Camagüey Festival of Video Art in Camagüey, Cuba, Videos on the Front at Interstate Projects in Brooklyn, Videophagy/Videofagia at Function13 & Hotshot Gallery in Toronto and in the Giguk Video Art Festival in Gießen, Germany.
His work has been exhibited at Jack the Pelican Gallery (Brooklyn) and Brain Factory (Seoul) and Eyedrum Gallery (Atlanta).
He earned an MFA at the School of Visual Art and completed a residency at the Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting in 2008.
Born in the U.K., he lives and works in Brooklyn.