Behind the Wheel refers to car scenes from classic films such as Wim Wenders’ "Im Lauf der Zeit" and Jean-Luc Godard’s "À bout de soufflé". The lighting adds to the theatrical look and feel of the installation. And the actor more or less fuses with the car. Fraser has taken a perverse childhood fantasy of danger and changed it into a cinematic experience with sculptural connotations.
Stewart Fraser grew up in an out of the way small village. Without a car, you could not get anywhere, so naturally every teenager learnt how to drive as soon as possible. Car wrecks in the fields bore witness to the sometimes fatal results. They fascinated Fraser, who grew up to be a performance artist with an urge to put himself in danger. In a grey area somewhere between entertainment and poetic expression; Fraser has swum across a lake wearing a concrete helmet, been suspended from a burning rope, and acted as a giant brush, dipping his head in buckets of paint. To be in a car crash and survive fits in nicely with his resume.
The element of potentiality in both objects and narratives dominates Fraser Stewart’s thinking and approach. Through experiments in combining performance, printmaking and sculpture, materials and narratives have merged into new forms. Stewart is drawn to the concept of planned obsolescence, where products are designed to breakdown and fail, which he also links to the meaning and cultural references that may shift, transform or disappear altogether.