Artwork Detail

Little Frank and His Carp
American, b. 1965
Video on DVD
6 min
University purchase, Parsons Fund, 2006
WU 2006.0008
Shot with hidden cameras, this six-minute video by contemporary artist Andrea Fraser documents an unauthorized intervention in the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. During the course of her “visit,” Fraser listens raptly to the words on the audio guide and experiences what can be described euphemistically as an intense identification with the museum building, designed by the architect Frank Gehry, the “Little Frank” of the video’s title. As the recording expounds on the glories of its revolutionary architecture (not mentioning the art it contains), Fraser’s face expresses a range of emotional states in an exaggerated response to the tour’s narrative. Little Frank and His Carp is a send-up of contemporary museological seduction, amplifying and sensualizing the relationship between art and its audiences. The video highlights two of Fraser’s most identifiable artistic strategies: provocative performance that focuses on the body of the artist, and incisive institutional critique. [Permanent collection label, 2015]