Frieze London and Frieze Masters are filling Regent’s Park with alive art this weekend. Here’s our pick of Top 10 things to see…
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Frieze is back and this year it has a little brother that can be found up opposite the zoo, Frieze Masters. The tent in the park plays host to the usual array of galleries, as well as the diverse mix of Frieze Projects curated by Sarah McCrory, moving images in the Frieze Film auditorium, and the 2012 Emdash Award. We chose our top ten highlights…
Ancient Cycladic civilisation
2,600 years before baby Jesus was born the Ancient Cycladicians would carve full-body figurines to throw in rituals near their mountain homes. The downside is this throwing usually broke them. It’s one of those reminders of how things used to work before Frieze came along.
You might have heard of him, but you probably won’t have seen his works like these. This is a set of drawings done through the 60s that look like they’re freshly torn from a sketchbook. The eyes are unconventional but intense – you’re seeing something else of the man that screen-printing didn’t allow.
Murder in Three Acts, filmed through the fair, is a performance that sees an exhibition space as the scene of a crime. Professional cast and crew discuss and develop the narrative, along with input from the viewers passing by. It has the aura of a media circus around breaking news events, and makes the rest of the fair seem more like a set by repercussion.
A fast-paced and hectic 14-minute film creation, but the history of France nevertheless. Although you might not work that out without looking at the title. This is the bit of craziness that every fair needs. Dezoteux takes you through three-dimensional worlds of his own CGI making, often using animals as characters – who needs logical structure?
Ed presents a dating service called Character Date. Participants are brought into the project booth by the characterdate.com reps, where they sit on heart-shaped stools and build their characters. I was Joseph Klinsworth, grandson of a salt and ivory magnate who amassed his fortune in Namibia around the turn of the century; my date, a Wallpaper* journalist and art consultant. Caught in-between your characters and your selves, your mind plays with itself. I had to get a drink after and let wine restore reality.
Grizedale Arts/ Yangjiang Group
Grizedale Arts, from the Lake District, are hosting a programme of food-related performance and retail called the Colisseum of the Consumed. Tomato throwing and food stands fill this wooden structure, painted blood red on its interior. Colosseums are battleground but Grizedale offers an idyll, with horse milk and fortune cookies on sale – mine told me, “don’t play leapfrog with a unicorn.”
Jimmy Merris, John Smith
Two artists showing in the auditorium, both free from the fixings of fashion. Jimmy takes Peckham and a bamboo pole to create a film (Oh Lord, why didst Thou make Peckham so beautiful and the life of an artist so short?) that is alluring and intense. It’s deliberately unaware of HD and better for it… Whilst John Smith takes the stick his father used to stir paint as a starting point from which to create a short but potent portrait of their relationship, spanning time and two people’s lives in a wonderfully blunt and strangely all-encompassing way. The stick was cut open so the rings of time cast in paint are visible, and the colours become more muted and pastel over time.
Aesthetically arresting and boldly blue, Ryan’s installation of two videos and three sculptural works grab at you. Chaotic and vibrant explorations of youth culture, reality TV and the internet – if only they could have the sound way up loud!
Samson and Delilah is like a drunken scene you’d love to walk into hundreds of years ago. Caricatured and luminous, this 17th century painting casts a scene in your mind in that way that oil paint can do so well.
Frieze Art Fair at Regent’s Park closes Sunday. Visit friezelondon.com for more info.
Text: Felix Nash