We Previewed Frieze London Art Fair 2017
If you’re trying to drag that uncultured somebody out of the house and they reply, say, “when hell freezes over,” well, art heaven Friezes (har har) over in London this October (we tried really hard with that pun, so moving on). Take your partner or kids to appreciate the art, or, as we will be doing: take your sugar daddy to buy you the art. Win-win. Find here a list of some of the artists involved in at Frieze 2017 who are particularly exciting to inhabitants of Ten Towers. Plenty of performance art, too. Who doesn’t love being awkwardly brought into the show? Either way, there’s no excuse. See the art. Be the art. Just don’t touch the art…
Frieze’s much-hyped film programme this year is kicking off with American artist Alex Bag premiering her latest work. Bag uses advertising and music videos to criticise today’s society (we know, deep stuff), taking on a range of personae to create scathing parodies of… well, us. Bag’s droll performances glance into consumer and media culture, and ask us how we define ourselves in relation to fashion and TV, a question that’s pretty depressing to answer when thinking back on evenings spent watching Love Island.
Buzzing onto the Frieze film programme is German artist Raphaela Vogel, who like most of us at home, uses a drone to film her own body from a ‘hornet perspective’ (because who doesn’t love a fish-eye shot?). Vogel focuses on dualities, the relationship between technology and the human body and between the ‘romantic’ and the ‘raw’. Also, drones are fun.
Under the collective name SPIT!, an acronym for sodomites, perverts, inverts (sounds like a great party), Colombian artist Carlos Motta and choreographer/dancer Carlos Maria Romero, collaborate in taking five self-written manifestos and integrating them in their performances compiled of other historical queer manifestos. 2017 has seen a boom of queer culture being expressed and embraced in London, why not go all the way (behave) and see SPIT’s celebration of sexual diversity? If that doesn’t interest you, fabulous feathered head-pieces will be involved, so there’s something for everyone.
Sex Work: Feminist Art & Radical Politics
A new section for Frieze 2017 entitled Sex Work: Feminist Art & Radical Politics, curated by Alison Gingeras, does pretty much what it says on the tin – explores feminist art and radical politics. But Sex Work focuses on female artists working within the boundaries of feminist activity since the 60s. Gingeras explains, “This special section of Frieze pays homage to artists who transgressed sexual mores, gender norms and the tyranny of political correctness” – sounds like a much more sophisticated take of Mae West’s “good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.” Sex Work will draw deserved attention to radical female artists who didn’t easily gel into mainstream art – classic patriarchy.
Lucy + Jorge Orta
Artistic duo and presumed fans of camping even when the weather’s shit, Lucy + Jorge Orta explore new modes of community and environment with their project ‘Antarctica’. The duo explore social and ecological issues, and the construction of collective identity. They’re inviting visitors to symbolically transfer their individual national identity into that of a world citizen (but not inviting them to stay the weekend in one of their tents).
Pauline Curnier Jardin
In addition to rocking her all-red ensemble, French artist Pauline Curnier Jardin uses film to combine pop with surrealism, experimenting with narrative by bombarding our senses with voices and characters which she claims to be ‘carnivalesque’. Apparently (and sadly), this doesn’t entail cotton candy and ghost-trains where teenage couples reach second-base. ‘Carnivalesque’ is instead a process of multi-layering voices. Her unique experimental films are not to be missed – drag yourself to there.
If your taste isn’t quite as po-mo as bee-perspectives and camping in the snow, Swiss artist Marc Bauer is putting together an installation of his eerie but equally awesome drawings from a series of youth workshops with Peckham Platform. Bauer’s Frieze Project will result from a series of workshops, asking the questions ‘how do gender concepts shape our environment?’ and ‘what is masculinity?’ (apart from a bitch).
Pattern In London’s Architecture
Frieze is collaborating with Tate Britain, National Gallery, RCA, Sketch Gallery, and ICA, to celebrate ‘pattern’ in London’s Architecture – it’s basically any fancy-floor lovers wet dream. From contemporary concepts to Renaissance painting, the campaign is displaying stunning designs and floors from around London. Warning though, attending will likely end in you having your bathrooms redone.
Frieze London is on in Regent’s Park from 5th to 8th October 2017