Click here for tickets to Frieze London 4-7 October
The Otolith Group
At home, Northeast London
Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar founded The Otolith Group in 2002. Working across moving image, performance and installation, The Otolith Group are acclaimed for their expanded and critical visions of science fictions that draw on futurisms from Africa, America, Asia, Britain, the Caribbean and Europe. For Frieze Film, curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt, The Otolith Group present their new work Message of the Forest. Towards O Horizon (2018). The film sets a recording of a made at the Hotel Esplande, Berlin in 1921 of Rabindrath Tagore – the Nobel Prize-winning poet, educator, songwriter, dramatist, painter and novelist – lecturing, to contemporary scenes performed and filmed in and around the rural landscapes of Santiniketan, West Bengal, where Tagore founded Visva-Bharati University in 1921. Message of the Forest screens alongside the other Frieze Film commissions daily at 3:30pm in the Frieze London Auditorium, and will be broadcast on Channel 4 in the Random Acts series.
Sarah & Anna
At Peckham Bazaar, 119 Consort Rd, London, SE15 3RU
Anna Colin and Sarah McCrory have been friends since 2003, when they joined the same MA curating course at the Royal College of Art. Anna is Associate Curator for Lafayette Anticipations: Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette, which opened its innovative Rem Koolhaas-led transformation of a Paris hôtel particulier into a state-of-the-art production workshop and exhibition space in March. In addition, she is co-director, with Laurence Taylor, of the Margate-based Open School East – a free, inclusive workspace in Margate, Kent which offers an alternative training to art school – of which Sarah is board member. As Director of Goldsmith’s Centre Contemporary Art in Lewisham, South East London, Sarah oversees the city’s newest free public art gallery: a stunning and unconventional space carved out by Turner Prize-winning practice Assemble from a disused Victorian bathhouse. Its opening exhibition, a survey of American artist Mika Rottenberg – who, coincidentally, had her first UK commission in 2006 as winner of the first Artist Award at Frieze – is a standout for any Frieze Week schedule. Anna and Sarah chose to be photographed in Peckham Bazaar, a south London restaurant where the daily changing menu draws on a landscape of flavours stretching across the former Ottoman empire, from the Balkans to the Maghreb and beyond, and making extensive use of an outdoor firepit. The vibe is energetic, serious-minded but emphatically unfussy. A bit like these two.
Nicoletta & Patrizio
At Estorick Collection, 39a Canonbury Square, London, N1 2ANE
Selected from more than 70 applicants, the recipient of this year’s Contemporary Art Society Collections Fund Prize – awarded to a UK institution outside the capital to acquire work from Frieze London – is The Box, Plymouth. So for The Box’s Contemporary Curator, Nicoletta Lambertucci, Frieze Week will be the fulfilment of months of research and negotiation. With the acquisition announced at the fair on 3rd October, all Nicoletta will reveal in advance is that she has been looking at work on the theme of movement across the seas: reflecting both the ongoing urgency of global migration and Plymouth’s proud history as a port city (it celebrates the 500th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage in 2020, when The Box opens). Nicoletta wed artist Patrizio di Massimo in London in 2017, wearing a gown by the artist Than Hussein Clark, inspired by Carlo Carrà’s Leaving The Theatre (1910). The painting is a jewel of the Estorick Collection – the UK’s only institution dedicated to modern Italian art, home to masterpieces by Giacomo Balla, De Chirico, Modigiliani and Giorgio Morandi - which the couple chose as a reception venue. De Chirico was an early influence on Patrizio, whose recent large figurative paintings meld elements of Salvador Dali, Otto Dix, Pierre de Klossowski and Christian Schad into something uniquely charming and disarming. Nicoletta has often been Patrizio’s model, though new characters entered the works shown at Volcano Extravaganza in Stromboli this year. Next up, another collaboration: a baby, due in November.
Lydia & Christopher
At Rochelle Canteen, 16 Playground Gardens, London E2 7FA
Invited to co-curate Frieze Talks this year, Lydia Yee chose to explore the theme of autobiography – a response to cultural phenomena such as the #MeToo movement and the return of ‘autofiction’. Happening daily at 12:30pm and 4:30pm in the Frieze London auditorium, Frieze Talks this year features artists and writers for whom personal experience is valuable material: from Laurie Anderson, Alexander Chee and Berni Searle to Nan Goldin and Olivia Laing. The Chief Curator at Whitechapel Gallery, Lydia’s most recent exhibition is Ulla von Brandenberg’s ‘Sweet Feast’, on view during Frieze Week, which draws a political allegory from a real historical incident at Whitechapel, when a display of European confectionary was consumed by visiting children. Lydia’s partner of more than 25 years is the American-Swiss artist Christian Marclay. This autumn, Tate Modern presents Christian’s lauded installation The Clock (2010): a 24 hour video collage which, through dialogue and pictured timepieces in film, tells the actual time. As this sublime, meticulous montage attests, Christian was an experimental DJ early in his practice – in November, he will premiere a new composition for 20 pianos for Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. Lydia and Christian chose to be photographed at Rochelle Canteen, located in a walled garden in east London. Fashionistas, rock-stars, foodies – and the odd curator and artist – flock here for its casual elegance and Chef Margot Henderson’s thoughtful, seasonal menu.
Conrad & Marina
At Frieze Sculpture, The Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4JL
Conrad Shawcross is no stranger to public space. Last year, his The Interpretation of Movement (a 9:8 in blue) (2017) stretched across the lofts of St Pancras Station, while his lauded architectural intervention The Optic Cloak (2016) towers 49 metre high above North Greenwich: a monolith of moire effect, perforated aluminium panels. Little surprise, then, that the artist’s Optic Labyrinth (Arrangement I) (2018) is a stand out of this year’s Frieze Sculpture – a free exhibition of outdoor art selected by Claire Lilley (YSP), sited a stone’s throw from the fairs – which coincides with Conrad’s show at Victoria Miro Mayfair in Frieze Week. Fortress-like from a distance, Labyrinth’s manipulation of moire optics means its whole form throbs and shimmers, inviting viewers to navigate the sculpture in all dimensions. During the photograph, this engagement was eagerly undertaken by Conrad’s son Hartley, under the eye of his Nonna, Marina Warner. A writer of criticism, essays, and fiction, Marina’s works – many of them landmarks in their field - examine the powers inherent in the stories we tell, from legends of female heroism to the Arabian Nights, fairy tales and lullabies to Ovid. One of our leading public intellectuals, last year she was elected President of the Royal Society of Literature. Marina’s latest book, Forms of Enchantment: Writing on Art & Artists (Thames & Hudson), makes ideal reading for Frieze Week, gathering thirty years of her thinking on artists including Louise Bourgeouis, Damien Hirst, Joan Jonas, Sigmar Polke and Kiki Smith.
Published in Frieze Week, London, 2018 with the title ‘Together!’
Click here for tickets to Frieze London 4-7 October
First published in Issue 4