Nicholas Fraser’s public projects draw from both historical and contemporary activity in his chosen locations. He connects the site’s past to its present character, highlighting the viewer’s position along a vast continuum of time and place. Fascinated by the diversity and ingenuity in urban signage, Fraser began filming storefronts in 2010. His goal was to collect a comprehensive video-based lexicon (The Fronts Project) as raw material for new works. Later he realized the 2,500+ videos also function as a manifold portrait of contemporary urban life in public spaces. These storefronts serve as witnesses to changes both momentous and mundane, as they too are continuously transformed.
For Jameco Exchange, Fraser adapted his single-channel video Follow into a two-channel site-specific installation called Follow/Unfollow. He added a ‘twin’ video, played in sync with the original, where the central figures are erased from the scene. Installed on the windows of the exhibition space, the videos engage with the live background of the 165th Street Pedestrian Mall. Together, the videos suggest a landscape stripped of human activity, while also echoing the activity and ambient sound of the street outside. The result is a wide-ranging portrait of 21st-century urban culture.
Every raw, unedited video from the Fronts Project is available at vimeo.com/channels/fronts.