Peter Fraser has created a new photographic portrait of London. A City in the Mind takes its inspiration from Italo Calvinos 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 dont speak the same language so the explorer uses objects from the cities to help tell their story. Similarly Frasers 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 Whos 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, Frasers eye is drawn to things and interiors that would not fascinate most as they do him. The London of Frasers 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.
Peter Fraser was born in Cardiff in 1953 and graduated in photography from Manchester Polytechnic University in 1976. In 1982 Fraser began working with a Plaubel Makina camera, which led to an exhibition with William Eggleston at the Arnolfini, Bristol, in 1984. Frasers many books include Two Blue Buckets (1988), Deep Blue (1997), and Lost for Words (2010). In 2002 the Photographers Gallery, London, staged a twentyyear survey of Frasers work, and in 2004 he was shortlisted for the Citibank Photography Prize.
A monograph of A City in the Mind is co-published by Steidl and Brancolini Grimaldi
with a foreword by Brian Dillon in May 2012.
A major exhibition of Peter Frasers work will be at Tate St Ives from the 26th January to the 6th May 2013. Tate will publish a monograph covering the whole of Frasers career to date with an essay by David Chandler.