"Animals are always observed. The fact that they can observe us has lost all significance. They are the objects of our ever-extending knowledge. What we know about them is an index of our power, and thus an index of what separates us from them. The more we know, the further away they are."
[i]John Berger, Why Look at Animals? 1977
The exhibition Taxis Derma by Nina Fraser is composed of paintings with collage from fashion magazine cuttings; thirteen drawings and two paper sculptures. The artist intends in a subtle but provocative way to evoke the relationship between society and animals. Nina Fraser uses images of clothing as a symbolic material to cover the head and body of the birds, creating a discontinuous involvement of the viewer with the animal.
We are invited to reflect on the social values that remain inadequate in regards to the treatment of animals that are often used as mere commodities. The artist's work deals with the repositioning of the identity and the reassessment of these concepts based on 'fashion' as a pretext for her sometimes obsessive and bucolic creative act. The artistic path that Nina Fraser has been forging is consistent with this purpose, in which she has found a comfortable dimension.
The dissolution of visual boundaries underlies the limits that separate traditionally distant areas of knowledge, art, science, technology, sociology etc. Nina Fraser often uses concepts and methods that come from the use of the image, as well as the artist's exploration of the instinctive and fragile brush stroke using collages of fragments of images. “Today it has become commonplace to evoke the concept of an image culture, but this statement reflects the feeling that we all have to live in a world where images are not only proliferating but becoming increasingly varied and interchangeable. ”(Jacques Aumont: The Image)
It is in this paradox of mediation of images and their consumption, with the distancing, charm and fragility of drawing, that there is a kind of complicity between the observer and the object drawn, in this case birds, that the work in this exhibition sits.
Sofia Marçal Exhibition Curator
Above Top: We ate the birds, Acrylic Ink & Collage on Arches Watercolour Paper, 90cm x 280cm, 2019
Above right: Kingfisher, Acrylic Ink & Collage 30 x 40cm, 2018 Above right: Crow II, Acrylic Ink & Collage 32.5 x 28cm, 2018