new-york

Andrea Fraser

Petzel Gallery | West 18th Street

There’s a storied moment in Andrea Fraser’s 2001 video Little Frank and His Carp: Touring the Guggenheim Bilbao, the artist, exhorted by her audio guide to admire the architecture, proceeds to share an erotic interlude with a wall. Fraser’s twelve-minute video A Visit to the Sistine Chapel, 2005, on view in her recent show at Friedrich Petzel, has a similar premise. It, too, follows the artist on an audio-guided tour, this time through the Vatican Museum. But its humor is less outré, as befits the setting. The laughs derive mainly from Fraser’s deadpan reactions to the inevitable rhetorical absurdities that crop up as the interactive Acoustiguide leads her through the vaunted halls of old-world culture. (“The Sistine Chapel is one of the finest examples of art being used to express the Word which God revealed to mankind. For more information, press the green button.”)

In the Vatican Museum,

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