Frieze London: Art at its Most Unusual

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If you had been walking through Regent’s Park from the 14th-17th October (as I did on the 15th), you would have had no trouble finding this year’s Frieze Art Fair; you simply had to follow the lengthy line of black and white BMWs, the Frieze logo plastered on each. Upon reaching the end, I came across a large black box-like building, again sporting the fair’s logo. Then, through a dark hallway, was the beautifully lit exhibition.  

Frieze London exhibited over 160 galleries from around the world. Not only were there paintings, photographs and sculptures, but the ‘Live’ category, which was introduced last year. This constituted performances in different sections of the exhibition, allowing for a somewhat unusual experience as we watched people roll around on the floor in the middle of a room of otherwise material artwork.

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Given our short amount of time in London, we visited Frieze on the day of our flight. We arrived at 12 (the opening time) and only had a couple of hours to spend at the fair.

While it was definitely worth the two and a bit hours, it would have been easy to stay until the 7pm closing time. There were coffee shops and restaurants scattered throughout the exhibition, both take away and eat in. Who wouldn’t want to walk around an edgy art exhibition without a nice hot cappuccino in hand?

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While strolling through, there were a fair few Zurich galleries noted on show. These include Galerie Peter Kilchmann and Gregor Staiger. They were great at the fair, so no doubt the galleries here in Zurich would be worth a visit for all you art enthusiasts!

Naturally, there was the obligatory piece which included some words on a mirror, allowing for many a selfie for Instagram. Who could walk past without taking a quick snap, courtesy of Jeppe Hein’s ‘I am you, you are me’ piece? Not me (or the five other people that took them before I did)!

Along with the beautiful and wacky works, mirrors and neon were key themes at this year’s exhibit. There were an abundance of opportunities for visitors to look at themselves as well as the art, and there were bright lights every few booths.

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There were also numerous pieces that allowed for a little German practice; with the Zurich and Berlin galleries present, there was German writing plastered across certain paintings. Admittedly, I did stand in front of a piece for at least five minutes trying to interpret, to some avail, a short paragraph about thoughts sounding like echoes (pretty heavy stuff – so long as my translation is right!).

Frieze London was filled with pieces that made us laugh, made us wonder how they got there in the first place – take, for instance, two dog-eared pieces of paper stuck on a wall – and, most importantly, made us think. If you happen to find yourself in London next year, or New York this May, then Frieze Art Fair is definitely worth a visit.
Article and Photos: Maddie Schulz ‘17

 

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