Al's Grand Hotel and Public Fiction Bring LA Hospitality to Randall's Island
Who wants to spend the night in an art fair? By Allison Kuo
A lucky few attendees of this year’s Frieze New York Art Fair will be spending the night on Randall’s Island as a part of Frieze Projects’ re-staging of Al’s Grand Hotel, a work from 1971 in which the LA artist Allen Ruppersberg ran a fully functioning hotel out of a converted home on the Sunset Strip. This is the first, and maybe only time for the art fair to keep overnight guests, and in order to do so they have arranged for a dedicated bathroom and shower, extra security, and an ambulance on standby. Guests will be given a dinner box and a bottle of wine, and politely disallowed from leaving the confines of the hotel’s three-booth footprint after the fair closes. For entertainment, a curated program of old Hollywood films and art videos that have a relationship to hotels will play on televisions in the rooms.
Reservations were fully booked long ago at $350 a piece, and all told between eight and sixteen people will be guests of the hotel. While most of us will be left to wonder what it might be like to be locked, Old Boy style, in a staged room inside a 250,000 square foot tent full of high-ticket contemporary art on a island populated by two psychiatric institutions and a homeless shelter, we won’t be missing out on the true substance of the piece. It’s all about the things that happen before the guests tuck in for the night...