FLOW.15: Nicholas Fraser
The Project: All Consuming
Nicholas Fraser’s All Consuming is a variation of a city distance sign, with two critical deviations: the cities named are extinct and the texts are edible cakes of birdseed. As hungry wildlife consumes this birdseed, they will transform legible characters into unidentifiable forms, resembling the ruins of cities uncovered by archaeologists. Located on the southern shoreline of Randall’s Island Park, the sculpture is continually in flux, evoking the cyclical nature of cities by harnessing natural processes to visually echo decay and ephemerality. Underscoring the diversity of New York by naming cities from a wide range of cultures, the sculpture positions both viewers and the city within a broad historical continuum, squarely in the line of succession of our forebears. The cities named may be dead, but their cultural heritage lives on in their direct descendants, all well represented in the boroughs neighboring Randall’s Island. With nature in the lead role, All Consuming provides a poetic reminder of the inevitable while gently suggesting we not ignore the part we play in hastening our own end
The Artist: Nicholas Fraser
Nicholas Fraser’s projects combine and recast texts and phrases from sources elevated and mundane. He explores our compulsion to communicate and the gap between what we intend to say and what’s expressed. Often site specific and highly ephemeral, his work draws connections between histories and issues of the moment, making us aware of our position in a wider continuum.
Fraser began filming storefronts in 2010 for the ongoing project Fronts, collecting a comprehensive video-based, web accessible lexicon that also functions as a manifold portrait of contemporary street-scapes. He earned his BFA at the Atlanta College of Art (1995) and his MFA at SVA (2008).