Saturday, October 13, 2007

Frieze Art Fair

Visitor to Frieze Art Fair; photo by Val PhoenixLondon
11-14 October

So, to Regent's Park for the annual confab of the great and good (and the odd Hollywood D-lister wanting to look cultural). A big white tent, stuffiness, goodie bags, anxious/bored looking people clutching mobiles and laptops. Hmmm.

One stall (David Zwirner) had a Saab as its attraction while another appeared to be a caravan and had been sold to Tate Modern. The lines between art and commerce aren't blurred; they're non-existent on such occasions.

As far as stalls go, Gavin Brown's Enterprise was certainly busy, with a witty installation of Rob Pruitt's flea market. It's a cheeky notion, taking detritus from artists and flogging it off to a willing set of buyers in a high art setting. And indeed the crowds were lapping it up. With hand-written signs and rails of clothing, it was, indeed, reminiscent of an ordinary flea market but with Jay Jopling's White Cube and other high-powered dealers in close proximity, it certainly hit the irony button on the head.

Jopling's stall was a bit of a disappointment, lacking any particular outrage or attraction, just a video by Sam Taylor-Wood being of note. But then I'd missed the previous day's signing by the tragically over-rated Chapman brothers adorning the queen's head on notes (defacing currency is a criminal offence, don't you know?). Such a pity.

Oddity of the day was the Frankfurter Kunstverein "performance", which appeared to be a bored-looking chap making noises into a microphone, while a bemused crowd looked on. Was this the performance? A warm-up? Nobody seemed to know. Cheers.

Around the corner from that, hordes grabbed at posters printed in Hebrew rolling them up smartly and tucking them into their goodie bags, not even knowing what they were getting. Because they were free and they wanted souvenirs.

Outside, the sculpture garden was also free and the air was considerably cleaner. The fair runs through the 14th.

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