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Frieze New York: Different Fairs, Different Worlds, Frieze Week Guide
by ArtSlant Team


 

 

Friezer Burn: Frieze, ArtExpo, and the paradox of taste

When artist and veteran Frieze visitor Darren Jones attended ArtExpo last month he found a parallel art world with its own culture and convictions.

Depending on one’s relationship to art fairs such as Frieze, the social and professional rituals associated with attending them can cause fevered excitement, or make the blood run, well, cold. Visit often enough and those galleries and artists that have been admitted to this carefully guarded system reveal the political hierarchies of this particular art world. While each fair has its own approach, thousands of works, and new artists each year, the perennial experience can be one of creeping homogeneity. There is interesting work to see, but much of it doesn’t digress far from the aesthetic values and informed conceptualism of the contemporary canon, approved by a cultural one percent of curators, dealers, museum directors, and collectors. I omit critics from this list as they report on, rather than determine what we see. There is variety of course, but the pervasive sense is that the art and styles of the fairs have a generally repetitious nature. Under such conditions enthusiasm for making value judgements of one’s own can be dulled as we are trained to understand and accept what is being promoted—and sold—as important art.

Considering how much art is made, and that there are many approaches to creative expression, what might a different kind of art fair look like? Is there something out there that accommodates a different experience and offers the chance to regard taste and the structures of artistic worth in a wider context? 

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Joining the usual stream of collectors and art professionals, five additional visitors will make their way to Randall’s Island when its grounds open up for Frieze New York this week. The fair features a specially curated program of contemporary artists working at the intersections of performance and installation and if you’re not paying attention you might miss Koki Tanaka’s contribution. For his Frieze Projects commission the Japanese social interventionist invited five unlikely visitors to attend the fair. Allyson Parker chatted with Tanaka, whose site-specific installation/performance will celebrate the invisible communities of Randall’s Island.

Allyson Parker: How would you describe your upcoming performances at Frieze?

Koki Tanaka: I invited five people to spend the whole day at the fair but couldn’t say it’s a performance piece because these people are also audience in a way. I’d prefer to say it’s a happening or activity because they are not following a script. 

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Sara Cwynar, Total Exposure Control (Darkroom Manuals), 2013, Chromogenic print, 30 x 24 inches, Edition of 3 + 2AP; Courtesy of the artist and Cooper Cole Gallery, Toronto. At NADA.

Radamés "Juni" Figueroa, Tropical ReadyMade (Puerta de Tierra Sunset #2), 2014, Clothes on metallic "Miami style" tropical window, 25 x 24 x 3 inches; Courtesy of the artist and Proyectos Ultravioleta, Guatemala City. At NADA. Figueroa is also represented at NADA by Roberto Paradise, Puerto Rico.

Katherine Mann, Fallow, Acrylic, sumi ink, and collage on paper, 60 1/2 x 143 1/4 inches; Courtesy of the artist and gallery nine5, New York. At PULSE New York.

 

Roger Herman, Untitled, 2013, Glazed ceramics, 34 x 17 x 9 inches; Courtesy of the artist and Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles. At Frieze New York.

Julia Wachtel, Flat, 2014, Oil, lacquer ink, and flashe on canvas, 60 x 121 inches; Courtesy of the artist and Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York. At Frieze New York.

 

 

                

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Posted by ArtSlant Team on 5/12

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