West of Rome Presents Andrea Fraser’s Men on the Line: Men Committed to Feminism, KPFK,1972.
On January 23rd, West of Rome (WoR), as part of the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival, is proud to present the premiere of Andrea Fraser’s Men on the Line: Men Committed to Feminism, KPFK,1972.. The performance is one in a series curated by Emi Fontana of new works inspired by the influential Los Angeles-based Woman’s Building. The curatorial aim of the series is to highlight the tremendous impact of the Woman’s Building and feminist practices on contemporary art production. Fraser’s piece was developed from a 1972 live radio broadcast of a dialogue between four men, committed to feminist struggles, who discuss the hopes and anxieties that feminism stirred in them. The artist transcribed and edited the dialogue and performs all four participants. By inhabiting the discourse of men struggling to engage with feminism, Fraser takes up the feminist challenge of emerging from internalized stereotypes to redefine the self and experience empathy across the boundaries of gender identity and hierarchy.
Fraser’s performance touches on some of the central concerns of the feminist movement: how social norms are internalized and embodied; how psychological structures are projected and performed socially and interpersonally; and how gender identity and hierarchies are produced and reproduced in these processes. It also touches on some of the central arguments within feminism around issues of separatism, essentialism, and the relationship between feminist struggles and other forms of domination. Such thorny issues are hard to broach, even after years of feminist scholarship and activism. Fraser’s piece reiterates the pertinence of these questions as it takes on the loaded dialogue of the feminist movement’s male sympathizers. Fraser shows us how Woman’s Building and the larger feminist movement tackled these issues early on and were influential in sparking a dialogue that expanded beyond the confines of women’s organizations and ignited the hope that women’s liberation could mean the liberation of everyone.
Andrea Fraser’s work has been associated with feminism, performance, and institutional critique. Though she did not live in Los Angeles during the heyday of the Woman’s Building, Fraser attended the opening of the Dinner Party by Judy Chicago in San Francisco when she was in her early teens and she was also a founding member of the feminist performance group, The V-Girls (1986-1996). Her often site-specific approach to investigating the social and psychological structures at work in the art field was directly influenced by feminist practices such as consciousness-raising and by feminist challenges to the masculine biases of art institutions and art history. As exemplified by Men on the Line, Fraser’s work often involves the internalization, embodiment, and enactment of different discourses and positions as a means of generating a reflection on our relationships and our investments in them. Today, Fraser is one of the most well known American performance artists, as well as a professor at the UCLA Department of Art. Fraser has performed at MoMA and MoMA PS1, the Centre Pompidou, MOCA Los Angeles, DIA Art Foundation, the Museum of Modern Art and Kunsthalle in Vienna, the New Museum, the Wexner Center for the Arts, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among other prominent venues.
WoR is a leading organization in Los Angeles dedicated to the realization of artists’ projects, exhibitions, and public interventions outside of the frame of galleries and museums. Founded in 2005, WoR has produced many notable exhibitions including Women in The City, featuring Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Cindy Sherman and Jenny Holzer, Mike Kelley and Michael Smith’s A Voyage of Growth and Discovery, Marnie Weber’s Eternity Forever, Jennifer Bolande’s Plywood Curtain, and, recently, Trespass Parade with Arto Lindsay, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and over 200 artists, performers, thinkers, and political activists, including My Barbarian, Ann Magnuson, Dawn Kaspar, Kenny Sharf, Milena Muzquitz, Scott Benzel, Killsonic, Chris Krauss, Sylvere Lortringer, Occupy L.A. and many others…
Men on the Line, KPFK, 1972
Monday, January 23, 7:30 PM (doors open at 7:00pm)
National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, 111 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tickets are by donation at door or online at www.westofrome.org/future Limited Capacity, Reserve Your Ticket Now! www.westofrome.org
The Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival will transform Southern California over eleven days from January 19-29. Featuring more than 30 major performances and large-scale outdoor projects, the festival will include new commissions, reinventions, and restagings inspired by works created by artists during the Pacific Standard Time era. The festival is organized by the Getty Research Institute and LA><ART; support is provided by the Getty Foundation.
Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.