The maze of Frieze London 2018
04 October 2018 12:44
Yesterday, I visited two places I’ve never been before: Regent’s Park and, within said park, Frieze London. I got lost trying to navigate both. Obviously, one is much larger than the other, but the sheer vastness of Frieze London should not be underestimated. Even equipped with a map and directions, almost as soon as I entered the colossal white tent that’s currently housing some of the world’s most exciting contemporary art, I became disorientated amongst Ugo Rondinone’s famous florescent rocks and a large man stood on top of a fridge, staring at his phone (Francesco (2017), Urs Fischer).
So, as any writer would do, I headed to the fair’s Reading Room to find my bearings, where I was delighted to see a copy of DRUGSTORE CULTURE’s Inaugural issue nestled on the shelf between copies of Contemporary Lynx and Esse.
After a few minutes spent browsing magazines and resisting the temptations of the adjacent Gail’s Bakery and champagne stall, I headed back out with my serious hat on to look at some art. Featuring work from over 1,000 of the world’s most exciting artists, both established and emerging, curated by more than 160 galleries worldwide, Frieze London is nothing like your average trip to the Tate. Art collectors and curators swarm from all over to preview the best in contemporary art, and potentially bag a piece or two for their galleries or houses. I’m now hoping that there’s an alternative-universe of me who can afford to buy David Shrigley’s neon sign that says ‘DEAR MOTHER, SORRY THAT IT HAS BEEN SO LONG SINCE I LAST WROTE I HAVE BEEN TERRIBLY BUSY’ to hang in my other-dimensional penthouse, as a permanent reminder to be a better daughter.
Elsewhere, Andrea Bower’s Believe Women (2018) is particularly poignant in the week after Dr Christine Blasey Ford’s powerful testimony against Brett Kavanaugh. Constructed modestly with acrylic marker on cardboard, the piece depicts a stoic black woman with her hands on the shoulders of two men, who are holding a ‘BELIEVE WOMEN’ sign out in front of her. Humble materials used to send a powerful message.
I wondered around in Frieze’s maze of contemporary art for a few hours, marvelling at Tatiana Trouvé’s extraordinary The Sharman and straining my brain to decipher the potential meaning of what appeared to be blocks of soap scattered across the floor. I’m not an art critic, but you don’t have to be to enjoy Frieze London – there’s so much there that I’m certain everyone will find something that resonates with them. If the blocks of soap resonate with you, please get in touch and explain why. I’m dying for an explanation.