Collection: Fred Wilson

Fred Wilson
b. 1954, New York; lives in New York
Addiction Display, 1991
7 ceramic copies of Pre - Colombian artifacts, 59 articles of cocaine paraphernalia, 6 labels, vitrine and framed original photograph by Fred Wilson
vitrine: 48 x 99 x 24 - 1/2 inches (121.0 x 251.5 x 62.2 cm)
Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami, museum purchase with funds from Ana Carolina & Luiz Guilherme Affonso¶Sari & Arthur Agatston¶Irene & Irv Barr¶Thom Collins¶Mary & Howard Frank¶Nedra & Mark Oren¶Gail Meyers & Andrew Hall¶Patricia Papper¶
Courtesy of The Pace Gallery¶

Fred Wilson s work is often associated with a tendency in recent art known as institutional critique : By appropriating curatorial methods and strategies, Wilson questions how museums shape interpretations of historical truth and artistic value, exposing some of the ideological assumptions and biases that underpin traditional museum practices.¶ ¶Addiction Display is among the earliest works in which Wilson combined aspects of museum display from exhibition furniture to wall labels with strategic selections of objects, in order to underscore the problematic ways in which museums have tended to represent non-Western cultures. One half of this vitrine is filled with imitation Pre-Columbian relics, the other with cocaine-related paraphernalia (pipes, spoons, tubes, mirrors, and so on). This provocative juxtaposition suggests an equivalence between drug addiction and the compulsiveness with which Western institutions have sought to acquire objects associated with the non-Western Other. The red color behind the vitrine recalls the kind of wall treatment that commonly appears in historical museums (as well as in pre-20th century art museums), but which has become atypical of contemporary art contexts.¶

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