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Special Edition: Frieze London #2
by ArtSlant Team


by Marianne Templeton

Frieze Art Fair is back, and this time it's got company: the inaugural Frieze Masters, bringing an art-historical dimension and additional blue-chip buying options to the London art circuit's flashiest and most notoriously cashed-up event of the year.

The fair's tenth anniversary promises to be just as messy and glamorous and overcrowded as usual. Don't be deterred by the inevitable queues: for the non-rich, Frieze is worth visiting for the absurd overheard conversations, the prima gallerina fashion, the events programme, the scattering of artists' commissions, and the impending realisation that you've blundered into a surreal three-dimensional materialisation of the art market, possibly expressed through the medium of interpretive dance. It's unforgiving, unruly and unforgettable, and after about an hour of exposure you'll wish you'd worn comfortable shoes and brought a concealed hip-flask.

For those who are tired of the bazaar experience and are desperate to just spend some time with one artist's work, in one room, at one time, you're in luck. A side effect of Frieze is that the Mayfair galleries each roll out a real fatted calf of an exhibition with which to tempt high-profile visitors, attract a little of the media spotlight and hopefully net some of those extra funds newly arrived in town...

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Grizedale Arts & Yangjiang Group's Colosseum of the Consumed at Frieze Projects, by James Thompson

Food is pretty hot right now. Art is also pretty hot right now, perhaps hotter than it's ever been. And both appear to be crisis resistant. The fiscal point isn't however where the similarities end as, if we examine it, food production and artistic production seem to be intertwined in a strangely symbiotic, and occasionally dysfunctional, relationship.

It is not as simple as stating that artists like restaurants and chefs like art, although these things seem to be true; there appears to be an aspirational attraction in either direction, albeit perhaps a dangerous one. It was Anthony Bourdain who reminded us to "beware the chef who claims to be an artist," and likewise it takes only a glance over Marinetti's Manifesto of Futurist Cooking to realise this probably also works in the other direction (even if with the advent of molecular gastronomy his words seem more prescient than ever). Nonetheless with their concern for presentation, the search for new combinations, and focus on creating a magical experience we can see something artistic in the job of the chef. But what though, for the artist, is the attraction? Is it the idea of nourishment? Of feeding people? Or the draw of the quotidian? The way it interacts with memory? Or the way it interacts with our lives, running deep into all its structures, both private and public? Could this ultimately be the goal of art?

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Berlin-based artist Cécile B. Evans is the winner of the 2012 Emdash Award at Frieze. Earlier this year ArtSlant's Collin Munn caught up with Evans to discuss her video and performance work, issues of objectivity/subjectivity, 'high' and 'low' culture industries, overriding emotions and impossible tasks...

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Posted by ArtSlant Team on 10/29/12

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