London, United Kingdom
Thursday, May 24, 2012–Saturday, July 14, 2012
Private view: Thursday 24 May 2012, 7 - 9 pm
Exhibition: 25 May - 14 July 2012
Peter Fraser has created a new photographic portrait of London. A City in the Mind takes its inspiration from Italo Calvino's novel Invisible Cities in which the explorer Marco Polo tells the Emperor Kublai Khan of the many fantastical cities he has visited on his travels. However, Marco Polo and the Emperor don't speak the same language so the explorer uses objects from the cities to help tell their story. Similarly Fraser's enigmatic photographs of London can be read as portals to another world, openings onto stories and histories, even other civilizations.
What kind of city is Fraser asking us to imagine through the images he brings back? Several photographs feature antiquated miniatures or models, perhaps from some kind of museum. Other images show objects whose visceral texture and colour leaps out from the picture plane - a suggestively fleshy conch shell; shiny chestnuts on a table; the glowing red vellum of a volume of Who's Who. A dazzling chandelier and a gold chair hint at opulent palaces. Others could relate to learning - a white board is the subject of one image; an antique model of penicillin another. Here, as in his previous work, Fraser's eye is drawn to things and interiors that would not fascinate most as they do him. The London of Fraser's mind is mysterious and allusive, and reminds us that ultimately all cities are created in the mind.
A monograph of A City in the Mind is published by SteidlBG with a foreword by Brian Dillon in May 2012 and will be available to purchase from Brancolini Grimaldi.