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Andrea Fraser

WHEN ANDREA FRASER’S VIDEO Untitled was first shown in 2003, the reactions across the media spectrum were all too predictable. A silent, sixty-minute tape shot at New York’s Royalton Hotel, it captured a sexual encounter between the artist and an anonymous collector, who paid nearly twenty thousand dollars for the privilege. The real performance, arguably, took place well in advance, when Fraser negotiated a detailed contract of stipulations the collector had to meet. If art-world cognoscenti variously claimed they found the taped proceedings boring (which, given the delicate nature of the exchange, lent the work its peculiar critical frisson), New York’s Daily News responded with the kind of aesthetic sensitivity one might expect of the tabloid press, calling Fraser’s work an outrageous example of “interactive art.”

Readers of the Daily News might be forgiven if they fail to identify the

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