I was standing on the platform at Gare de l'Est in Paris gazing into space when a man came up to me and said "Magique". I immediately knew what he meant and sitting on the train to Basel kept thinking about how to put that feeling in my work. So for my new series of work I've steered my gorgeous fashionistas out of the way of banality. No housework. No tax bills .Nothing mundane. Just zoning into that far away place.
The small backlit photo women are really trying to fight for their escape. Hiding lucky four leaf clovers in their Chanel couture, rubbing garlic in their Jimmy Choos in a really desperate attempt to make magic. Ambition raises their tactics.
Then the untitled people are more fatalistic. Just gazers. Hoping to soak the magic in like that blurry time between waking and getting up. Night people who can't stand the daylight. Lying on a gilt Louis Quinze chaise just soaking up that feeling.
Then Area 51 comes into focus. This is a whole new chapter of magic. A place in the Nevada desert where the line between mortality and unreality is very thin. We've crossed zones. Are these people escapees from a Vogue Italia fantasy or are they Aliens cunningly disguised? So to stop the people being too normal I've collaged them all slightly. In Area 51 work I've transplanted some of the faces by cutting them off other backlit photo images and sewing them to different bodies. Even the luck seekers have had chunks of their backgrounds stitched in to make them slip through little cracks in time.
No one can quite catch the magic people. In the large wall installation they've slipped into a magic theatre. The curtains are layers of bridal tulle. I've chopped up lots and lots of glamorous backlit photo men and women and given them diamante UFO helmets, little industrial face masks to help them breathe our toxic air and xeroxed collages of UFOs and secret fighter jets to help them escape. They're all pinned onto layers and layers of tulle from floor to ceiling. No gravity. Just floating in clusters right across the wall. Little owls, white horses , strange hybrid humanoids all hiding in the tulle. A sniper keeping guard.
So I hope this chopping up of photos gives you a little bridge into magic. Just a little snip of the scissors and reality is jerked from under our feet. Yay. Thanks very much.
Jacqueline Fraser has exhibited widely internationally in a career that spans more than three decades. In 2005/2006 she was included in Superstars – From Warhol to Madonna, Kunsthalle Vienna. In 2004 she was shortlisted for two major art prizes, Artes Mundi in Cardif (one of 10 international artists) and the Walter’s Prize in Auckland (one of 4 New Zealand artists). In 2001-2 Fraser had a solo exhibition at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and in 2001 she represented New Zealand in their inaugural presentation at the Venice Biennale - the full installation of which was acquired by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Also in 2001, Fraser was selected for the Yokohama Triennale. Fraser’s work is held in every major public collection in New Zealand, the National Gallery of Australia as well as numerous private and corporate collections around the world. MAGIQUE will be Fraser’s fifth solo exhibition with Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery.