the i-D guide to frieze 2014
As it opens to the public today, here's i-D's guide of everything to see, do and smell at this year's Frieze Art Fair.
Oscar Murillo at David Zwirner
New York's David Zwirner Gallery has one of the largest booths in the fair and they've dedicated a whole room of it to Oscar Murillo, a Colombian-British artist still in his 20s. This is, undoubtedly, one of the best places in London right now. On the walls a panorama of video screens show scenes from his homeland - a butcher making some sort of sausages, a chocolate factory-line, joyous close-ups of dancers and flipping dominos and spinning tops - while speakers play laid-back Bossa Nova music. It's an oasis of happy calm.
In amongst all of this are sculptural installations showing the aftermath of an unexplained game of the artist's own invention: a cardboard bingo grid of crossed-out numbers and lots of chocolate-coated tennis balls. If you only try one thing at Frieze this year, try sniffing everything up close; the aroma of brand new tennis balls mixed with sugary chocolate dip is one of the most delicious things I've ever experienced.
Sean Raspet at Societe
Another exhibit with a stand-out, and in this case overwhelming, fragrance is Sean Raspet's installation for Societe with its dozen translucent barrels of isoamyl acetate: a colourless and highly flammable liquid with a banana-like odour. Whenever you walk past this booth you're instantly drawn into its strange chemical fumes, which fill the air with a bitter banana fog.
Tamara Henderson at Rodeo Gallery
Honourable mentions for smells also goes to Instanbul's Rodeo gallery, who burning rosemary as I walked past, though I couldn't work out why, there was just a very cool and earnest looking attendant (or artist?) burning herbs in the booth. Often the amount of performances going on during the fair means you usually end having just missed something. I saw John Berger wandering around near the exit half undressed out of a tuxedo, and again couldn't understand whether I was watching a piece of performance art, had just missed something great happening, had stumbled across something I wasn't meant to, or this is just how John Berger dresses now?
Carsten Holler at Gagosian
Upon entering Frieze you're instantly face-to-face with Carsten Holler's magical children's playground for Gagosian Gallery. Holler, who has previously installed a terrifying series of spiralling slides that whirled their way down the calamitous drops of Tate Modern's Turbine Hall, has made a modernist labyrinth, a wobbling musical mushroom, and a colourful mirror world for kindergarten art kids to enjoy. My mate Tom's one-year-old daughter Bess was entranced by the mirrored corner, reflecting all the colours around her.
Franz West with Faggionato
Frieze's Sculpture Garden always offers a fresh, relaxing walk for anyone suffering from all the chaos of the fair. My highlight this year is Franz West's bright pink sausage sculpture; an unapologetically phallic proposition dropped onto the bucolic calm of Regent's Park's English Gardens. It's bold and beautiful and looks like nothing so much as the lurid Polish sausages that my flatmate loves to buy from our local corner-shop.
Friedrich Kunath at BQ
Friedrich Kunath makes art on an epic scale. His vast, hanging painting at Berlin's BQ offers another vision of pastoral bliss in amongst all the madness. Cookie letters spelling out "relax" set over the faraway green hills like a sunset-mantra. That's the most important thing to keep in mind if Frieze's two-hundred-plus booths are pushing you over the edge: Friedrich says relax. On the other side of this massive landscape, which takes up an entire wall, an inquisitive cartoon fox peers out over the horizon and into the bright fair.
Ian Cheng at Standard
One of the standout films at this year's fair is an amazing computer animation by young American artist Ian Cheng, who hung out with i-D this time last year and showed Lily McMenamy around an interactive virtual reality skyscrape. She admonished him, "don't be like that Ian, life is but a dream under the sun!" and he replied, "the sun is a gargantuan ball of burning gas and in a million years it's going to explode and kill us all!" Ian is fantastic. Inside a shady room in Norwegian gallery Standard's space, he's projecting a visually stunning art-horror film about monstrous zombies chasing an innocent person through the dark, tropical forest.
Goshka Macuga and Dieter Roelstraete at Kate MacGarry
Another standout film in the fair is a recording of a play/performance written and choreographed collaboratively by artist Goshka Macuga and curator Dieter Roelstraete. This is an endlessly complicated - but highly amusing - pantomime, which plays out on a flatscreen opposite framed and annotated scripts. In the still above Marina Abramovic (played by an actress) is writhing around an apartment floor with various men dressed up as snakes, while someone reads out solemn words about the Hopi snake dance. Every now and again one of the characters will interrupt and say something like, "please Marina enough Balkan wanking stories!"
Laure Prouvost at MOT
The beauty of films at Frieze is that you can sit down, relax and let the bustle of the fair drift past you. One more film Turner Prize winning video artist Laure Provost presented Grandma's Dream at MOT International,a 2013 video work installed inside a comforting pink fluffy box that felt suitably withdrawn, safe and womblike. Grandma's Dream is an ode to the romance and sensory-overload of childhood and youthful rebellion.
George Henry Longly at Kendall Koppe
Glasgow gallery Kendall Koppe's desk is actually a carved marble sculpture by George Henry Longly, who makes highly desirable objects but also includes somewhat mucky subject matter; another wall-mounted slab of creamy marble is sculpted out of the collected objects of George's everyday life: laughing gas canisters, ear plugs, drawing stylus.
George is also a founder of Anal House Meltdown, the legendary Vogue Fabrics art party that feels just like it sounds. Tonight the Anal House Meltdown boys - George, Prem and Eddie - are throwing a party at the Ace Hotel to launch their first ever music release, called Death Drive. It should be really excellent.
Tomoaki Suzuki at Corvi Mora
Kyrone and Kadeem Oak are London's most desirable twins - they've modelled for i-D a few times of course - and snazzy dressers too. I had a drink with them after the opening of Frieze and they casually told me that they're appearing in the fair. Japanese artist Tomoaki Suzuki has been sculpting them for six months or so, hanging out with them a lot, and eventually creating his own miniature twins. A couple of years ago they were working in the cloakroom at Frieze; now artists are sculpting their heroic effigies.
Frieze's Focus section for young galleries is the place to be if you want to know who to expect big retrospectives of in 20 years time. Carlos/Ishikawa assembled three of the hottest names for their stand' Ed Fornieles, Oscar Murillo and Korakrit Arunanondchai. You can sit back on a Korakrit designed sofa and get your nails did at Ed Fornieles' nail bar, giving you a chance to take something unique home with you, and that's some nails with ED written on them.
Santo Tolone at Limoncello
Amongst all the buzzing commercial activity of the fair (we overheard someone trying to haggle down the price of a Baldessari by 50k) Limoncello's booth was a little oasis of peaceful tranquillity, quite literally actually as Italian artist Santo Tolone has built a working fountain in the booth. Reduced it to the bare, minimalist essentials of brass and bronze, a spurt of water flowing in from elegant arching tap. The exhibition is inside the pool itself, with artist designed coins by Tim Foxon, Ryan Gander, Rob Pruitt and Amalia Ulman. And if you dive in you can even find a very rare, John Baldessari designed coin, and it was going for considerably less than the one that was being haggled over.
Simon Denny at Buchholz
Only The Predator Suit was on display, but a reminder of just how good Simon Denny's The Personal Effects of Kim Dotcom exhibition was, even if we could only witness a fragment of it at the fair. Inspired by the rise and fall of internet pirate and entrepreneur Kit Dotcom and how he gained cult fame after he was hunted down by the FBI for running the filesharing site Megaupload. Denny re-assembled all of Kim's seized property, internet politics and property feels very apt and on trend at the moment, but Denny's project was one of the best ways of approaching it we've seen recently.
Mark Wallinger at Hauser & Wirth
Wallinger has just joined Hauser & Wirth's stable of artists, and they're celebrating by letting him curate the art behemoths booth this year. Taking a break from the standard white cube set up, tried to replicate Sigmund Freud's studio; the walls are painted in deep greens and red and crammed full of artwork that Wallinger describes as the "stuff that gets under his skin", which is apt, seeing as the booth is dedicated to continued influence of the master-psychoanalyst.
Text Dean Kissick and Felix Petty
Photography Linda Nylind. Courtesy of Linda Nylind/Frieze