Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Bread and Circuses: Frieze 2012

Evren Tekinoktay, Smoke, 2012, The Approach

There’s nothing like a trip to Frieze to make you feel completely detached from the art world. Which might not be so great if you’re an artist. So now that the global travelling circus has left town, what still sticks?

There wasn’t anything nearly as nasty as last year’s autographed superyacht. The commissioned projects by Frieze Foundation (the non-profit organisation responsible for the curated programme of talks, films, etc) included Turkish artist, Aslı Çavuşoğlu’s Murder in Three Acts, where a crime drama performed by a professional crew and actors was filmed live; and the Colosseum of the Consumed collaboration between Grizedale Arts and the Chinese artists Yangjiang Group involving a programme of food-related performances. The makeshift colosseum itself enabled spectators to look down at various activities below. Like the Bread and Circuses of ancient Rome, these amusing spectacles detract from the superstore transactions that are the business at the heart of the fair. Maybe there should be more of them.

Meanwhile, in the chaotic stalls, purposefully arranged everyday objects furnished a nostalgic nod to more domestic environments. Korean artist, Haegue Yang’s venetian blinds delicately floated over Kukje Gallery.

Haegue Yang, Flip Fleet Flow Units, 2012, Kukje Gallery
A solid totem pole of lampshades called Rose-marie, which I hoped was by Charlotte Squire but was in fact by Scottish artist, Andrew Miller, illuminated Ingleby Gallery, and glass light bulbs were grouped on ply in Untitled (16), 2012 by Phillip Lai at Stuart Shave/Modern Art. A glass sculpture of vases, cake stands and bowls on a grid of shelves made up The Sixth Continent by Anna Molska at the Broadway 1602 stand. 

Anna Molska, The Sixth Continent, 2012, Broadway 1602
Flattened out, graphic interiors were also pictured in Jonas Wood’s paintings at David Kordansky Gallery.

Jonas Wood, Interior with Fireplace (detail), 2012
David Kordansky Gallery

Jonas Wood, Grey Shio Still Life (detail), 2012
David Kordansky Gallery

The prize for the stand-out stand goes to the exceptionally well fabricated MOT International with Elizabeth Price’s film West Hinder, 2012 where carpeted walls led into a quiet, personal cinema space, complete with helpful unFrieze-like staff offering information about the screening.

In its wake, Frieze has left behind a trail of free blockbuster exhibitions at the big galleries including Luc Tuymans at David Zwirner until 17 Nov, Chris Ofili at Victoria Miro until 10 Nov and Peter Doig at Michael Werner Gallery until Dec. There is more Elizabeth Price at the Turner Prize, Tate Britain until Jan 2013 and I’m looking forward to continuing my own domestic thread with interior provocations by Matthew Darbyshire: T Rooms, at Zabludowicz Collection, until Dec. Also, a reminder that this weekend is the last chance to see Paul Housley’s latest paintings at Poppy Sebire, don’t miss it!

Alli Sharma

Oh, here are some black and white moments:

Akram Zaatari, Studio Sheherazade, Couples, 2012
Hashem Madani

Silke Otto-Knapp, Winter Trees, 2012
Cindy Sherman, Untitled 510, 1977/2011, Spruth Magers 
Klara Kristalova, Untitled, 2010-2012

Raymond Pettibon, David Zwirner

Gillian Carnegie, Untitled, 2011
Galerie Gisela Capitain

 And some colourful ones:

Alexis Marguerite Teplin, Untitled, 2012
Mary Mary

Chantal Joffe Victoria Miro

Kaye Donachie, Maureen Paley

Karen Kilimnick, the merry sheep of olde England, 2012,
303 Gallery
Waldemar Zimbelmann, Untitled, 2012
Meyer Riegger

Makiko Kudo, Blanket (detail), 2012

Varda Caivano, Untitled, 2011-12
Victoria Miro

George Shaw, We Are Building an Old World, 2012

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