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Marita Fraser

PhD Work

Speaking With: New Forms of Notation for Scoring Excess

My research project asks how might text as sculptural material, enable gaps in knowledge, and unknowing to appear; making visible the unspoken, as it were. Further, in speaking of the unspoken,  I ask who is speaking, how are they speaking, and why are they speaking.

How then, through text and speaking do we engage with the body's personal and environmental materiality, negotiate personal subjectivity and the materiality of culture and society?

Scores are instructional text works, which ask to be read, performed, reiterated and re-enacted. I am interested in asking what are the conditions in which scores operate to enable engagement with the body's personal and environmental materiality, negotiating personal subjectivity and the materiality of culture and society. How is it that scores are able to activate the space 'off the page' so to speak and create an armature in which excess is produced and contained. Here excess is understood as the subjective, speculative and unstable relationships between sculptural, material, social, and textual elements within my art practice and others.  

My research uses feminist writing strategies to explore how 'speaking with' offers a research method enabling the unspoken to be heard. Following from feminist writing strategies of direct-speech (Irigaray), autofiction (Nelson and Kraus) and ficto-criticism (Randolf), 'speaking with' examines how the adoption of voicing through the first person, autobiographical, fictional or other, allows gaps of knowing/unknowing, to be spoken of.

In the late 1950's, through the practice of composers John Cage, Cornelius Cardew and then Fluxus artists of the 1960's, the score, being instructional text works that do not use musical notation, arose.  The score was embraced by feminist art practitioners through the 1960's and onward as an important method of making work which enabled the space 'off the page', between text and reader/performer/performance, to be activated through the multiple iterations of a score's reading and performance. Within contemporary practice, the score is still a vital form of working method and form in text, film, painting and performance practices. I suggest that this 'off the page' space generated through the production and performance of scores holds and speaks of excess. Here I understand excess to be the subjective, the collaborative, the personal and the social; being poly-vocal and chorus like. The score as text work sits across genres of poetry, fiction, autofiction, instruction and script. As a slippery form of writing and performing the score allows for collaboration in authorship, voices, and bodies. Capturing and voicing the somatic, inanimate, and intimate, my research outcomes include the development of new scoring methods for producing sculptural, moving image, painting and installation works and the production of new performative texts. I argue the score offers both method and form for 'speaking with' and voicing excess.


  • marita fraser
  • PhD


    School of Arts & Humanities


    Arts & Humanities Research, 2016–2021

  • Marita Fraser is a visual artist and writer who's practice is materialised through painting, collage, installation, film, performance and text. 

    Recent exhibitions and performances include: (after) parts of a body house, Moore Contemporary Perth; Sister, Gallery Layendecker Santa cruz de Tenerife; Billy, Schneiderei Vienna; Marita Fraser - Love of Diagrams, Engen Stadt Museum; Marita Fraser, Kerstin Engholm Gallery Vienna; Something New, Josh Liley Gallery London; Afterimage, Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna and Prima Interventionen, Atelierhaus Salzamt, Linz. 

    Fraser has produced a permanent sculpture in public space for the city of Tulln, Austria. and a large scale temporary public space work as part of Urban Signs - Local Strategies  Paterstern, Vienna. She has undertaken international residency programs with Casa Wabi Mexico,  MQ21 Vienna, Atelierhaus Salzamt Linz, Artspace Sydney and Cite International des Arts Paris. She was a founding director of the Viennese 'off space', Bell Street Project Space from 2006–2010. 2017–2019 she has been a  tutor at Royal College of Art, Liverpool Hope University, UCA Farnham and Bath Spa University. Fraser is a member of the RCA School of Art and Humanities open Research Network Speaking of Her. In 2019 she co-organised and presented her research at Speaking With and AUTO//FICTION events held at the RCA.

  • Degrees

  • Academy of Fine Art Vienna, Class Heimo Zobernig; BA Fine Art 1st Class Honours, Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.; BSc. (Arch), University of Sydney.
  • Experience

  • Visiting Lecturer, UCA, Farnham, 2019; Visiting Tutor, Final Project Crits, Media Studies, MA, Royal College of Art, 2019; Visiting Tutor, Bath Spa University, 2018 - 2019; Visiting Tutor for SoAH MA crits, Royal College of Art, 2018; Visiting Tutor, Liverpool Hope University, 2018; Lecturer, MA Translation/Publishing, UCL, 2018; Tutor, Across School Group, MA, SoAH, Royal College of Art, 2017; Resident, Casa Wabi Foundation, Oaxaca, Mexico, 2017; Lecturer, LAHP Research Programme, 2016 – 2017; Resident. Q21, Museums Quartier, Vienna, Austria, 2016; Guest Lecturer, Talking Thesis (Phd Programme), Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, 2013; Lecturer, MA Publishing, UCL, 2013 – 2015; Production Manager, Norvik Press, UCL, 2012 – 2018; Resident, Atelierhaus Salzamt, Linz, 2011; Founding Director, Bell Street Project Space, Vienna, 2007 – 2010; Resident, Artspace, Sydney, 2010; Student Class Tutor, Academy of Fine Art Vienna, Class Zobernig, 2009; Guest Lecturer, Subvision, Hamburg, 2009; Guest Lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University, 2009; Resident, Cité International des Arts, Paris, 2008; Resident, Artist in Residence, Sydney College of the Arts, 2007
  • Exhibitions

  • Solo: (after) parts of a body house, Moore Contemporary, Perth, 2019; Billy, Schneiderei Kunstvereinne, Vienna, 2017; The Cup, RIAT, Vienna, 2016; Marita Fraser, Kerstin Engholm Gallery Vienna, 2015; Marita Fraser, Gallery 9, Sydney, 2014; Marita Fraser,, 2014; Marita Fraser and Freya Douglas Morris, Peter Von Kant, 2014; Birds of Paradise, James Dorahy, Sydney, 2013; Marita Fraser, Kerstin Engholm Gallery, Vienna, 2012; Marita Fraser, Love of Diagrams, Engen Stadt Museum, Engen, 2010; Marita Fraser, Gallery Karol Winiarzyk, Vienna, 2010; In passing 9, Kunstlerhaus, Vienna, 2010; Group: Dreamin' Wild, Alaska Projects, Sydney, 2018; Flight Mode, Assembly Point, London, 2018; Sister, Layendecker Gallery, Tenereife, 2017; 001, Moore Contemporary, Perth, 2017; Wild Flowers, Narrative Projects, London, 2017; Sunday Sessions, PS, Amsterdam, 2017; Beyond Boarders, Blain Southern, London, 2016; Was die Wange röthet, kann nicht übel seyn, Kerstin Engholm Gallery, Vienna, 2015; Balls, Nest, The Hauge, The Netherlands, 2015; The Trouble with Painting, The Pumphouse, London, 2013; Austrian Sculpture Project, Vienna, 2013; Afterimage, Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, 2012; Something New, Josh Lily Gallery, London 2012; Object as Image, Vesch, Vienna, 2011; Prima Interventionen, Atelierhaus Salzamt, Linz, 2011; Silver Moon, • (Lisa Ruyter Gallery), Vienna, 2011; Caution Colour!, Museum Ritter, Waldenbuch, 2011; Love of Diagrams, PICA, Perth, 2010; Pattern Recognition, PS, Amsterdam, 2010; Women, Kerstin Engholm Gallery, Vienna, 2010; Early Dawning, Kerstin Engholm Gallery Vienna, 2009; Urban Signs - Local Strategies, Praterstern, Vienna, 2009
  • Awards

  • TECHNE Doctoral Award, AHRC, 2018–2020; Fundación Casa Wabi ArtReview Residency Award, 2017; New Works Grant, Australia Council for the Arts, 2015; Artist Grant Austrian Ministry of Culture, 2014; New Works Grant, Australia Council for the Arts, 2011; ArtStart, Australia Council for the Arts, 2009; The NSW Arts Gallery, Moya Dyring Studio Award, Cité International des Arts, 2007; Zelda Stedman Award, University of Sydney, 2005; Fauvette Loureiro Award, University of Sydney, 2003
  • Conferences

  • Organiser and Presenter, AUTO//FICTION, Royal College of Art, July 9 2019; Organisor and Presenter, Speaking With, Royal College of Art, June 12, 2019; Panellist, SoAH 'Re-Enactment' Research Group Presents Ali Smith, Royal College of Art, May 7 2019; Steering Committee and Presenter, The Urgency of the Arts, NAFAE conference, Royal College of Art, 15 March 2019; Presenter, Say Something Back, Merton College Oxford, 28 February, 2019
  • Publications

  • Dream'n Wild, Alaska Projects, Sydney/Vienna, 2019; 'Billy', Prova 4, SOAH, RCA, 2018; Billy, 2017 (artist's book); Looking at Painting, Volume 2, 2016; Sculptors/Sculpting, ORF III Television, Austria, broadcast Oct. 2016; Fluc: Tanz die Utopie!, M. Wagner (ed.), Falter, Vienna, 2014; Afterimage, Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, 2012; Love of Diagrams, Marita Fraser, Stadt Museum, Engen, Bucher Verlag, 2010 (Monograph); Love of Diagrams, PICA, Perth, 2010; Urban Signs, Local Stratergies, F. Thalmair, Kunstforum, 200, 2010