In recent years, SCOPE has gained the reputation of being the “fun” fair, full of performance and experiential programs- as well as booze. Last year they let us watch frat boys drink copious amounts of beer inside a glass room, and drink a few ourselves in the impossibly tiny two person bar, Mandy’s (complete with working beer tap!) This year, the fair is giving itself a makeover, first with a new logo, followed by a new, slightly smaller venue--conveniently located right across from The Armory Show. The size of the fair has been intentionally scaled back, in order to give SCOPE a chance to flex its curatorial muscle, and trim the fat so to speak. With the rebranding, the fair is continuing to adhere to its commitment to bring exciting curated projects for visitors to experience, along with the carefully selected galleries hocking their innovative art works. The special programming presents visitors with SCOPE’s personal curatorial vision, bringing together performance, film and installation to show their dedication to sharing art, not just selling it.
Paul Wackers, The Presentation of Choices Made, acrylic on panel, 48” x 58”. Courtesy of Eleanor Harwood Gallery.
This year, visitors will be met with all that glitters as they enter SCOPE’s new pavilion on 57th Street and 12th Ave. Curated by Miami’s edgy Primary Projects, Kenton Parker’s Infinity Trophy Room will start off everyone’s fair experience with a little sparkle and triumph. The installation is the ultimate trophy case, with row after row of identical gold prize winning statues. At first glance, we are drawn into what these trophies imply - victory, superiority and hero worship. But beyond the singular golden champion, there are a slew of capable losers. This obsession and emphasis on these symbols of victory creates an unhealthy fixation on becoming that lone winner, rather than tackle the real issue - our inherent insecurities and unacceptance of personal failures. Parker explains in his artist statement “Artistic achievement (popularized by the Oscars or Tony Awards) is called to mind as a politicized issue that seems to rely more on awarding those with underhanded agendas versus a testament to creative genius.”
After contemplating your own feelings on winning, followed by the blow of defeat, artist and Interfaith minister Lainie Love Dalby will help you heal your bruised ego with Diamond Den, a ritualistic installation of art therapy and mediation. The first of her new series of social sculpture projects will debut at SCOPE New York, curated by A.M.F. Proejcts. The Diamond Den will invite visitors to heal their woes and self doubt through art and ritual. Participant’s senses will be enticed with intoxicating scents, melodic soundscapes and an array of both artistic and ritual objects. Participants will be invited to let it all go, by first crawling into one of Lainie Love’s sacred sculptural artifacts, followed by an onslaught of pop culture imagery, process, and performance, creating a safe place for introspection. Over the course of the performances, the art works will be blessed by Lainie Love, and become souvenirs of the all-encompassing experience, and also range in price from $20 to $10,000. Lainie Love and her team of spiritual leaders, including choreography by Lynsey Peisinger, invite fair goers to completely submit themselves to art, allowing the experience to wash away the tension of life, and therefore be able to “live your best life.” Dubbed “The Lady Gaga of Consciousness & Spirituality,” Lainie Love will donate 10% of her proceeds to Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.
Brent Birnbaum, If there Is One, Has God Been to Ikea?, 20120, installation at Scope. Courtesy the artist and Scope.
While Diamond Den brings visitors closer to their own acceptance and arty consciousness through experience, Brent Birnbaum has erected a literal shrine to the idea of our own personal acceptance into adulthood. We are all victims to the ease of buying Ikea furniture. Its digestible Swedish design is a mainstay in our transitional apartments between the poster-laden college living room and the mid-century modern furniture of adulthood. If There Is One, Has God Been to Ikea? is a site specific installation by that is an homage to this belief- that the ceremonial shirking of the last Ikea table is a cross over into adult hood. For the installation, Birnbaum collected hundreds of the candy colored Ikea shelves from those ready to make the leap. Some take the sensible route, justifying the change by trying to make a few dollars on Craigslist, while others embrace the symbolic step to maturity with full on abandonment- by throwing the Ikea furnishings straight in the garbage. Birnbaum’s myriad of colors is a shrine to that magical time during our twenties between cheap beer and fine wine.
Rather than logging in time on your shrink’s couch, these three special projects at SCOPE will let you explore or own self-worth, confidence and acceptance with a virtual acid trip of glittering gold, personal ritualistic mementos you can take home, and a prayer to your twenties that doesn’t involve a SCARFACE poster. The 62 participating galleries in the new pavilion are a manageable size after the hectic and massive Armory show across the street. On Wednesday night, wrap the evening up with the First View After Party at Le Bain at The Standard, where you can take advantage of SCOPE VIP access to one of the hardest doors in New York City. If you’re lucky enough to snag an invite to The One Fifty party, you can dance the night away at Jimmy at The James. The invitation only event honors 150 visionaries in art, fashion, design and music, as well as the talented nominees for the SCOPE Foundation Award.
Shen Chao Liang, Untitled, 2012 installation at Scope. Courtesy the artist and Artists Wanted.
Image top right: Lainie Love Dalby, The Diamond Den, 2012, performance and installation at Sope. Courtesy of the artist and Scope.