Over the past 16 years, Frieze has grown from humble beginnings in London to become one of the world’s most highly regarded art fairs. The annual event opens this Friday October 5, with more than 160 galleries from around the world showing their commercial wares alongside performances, talks and films. If you happen to be in London this week, here are three artists not to miss.
One whole strand of the Frieze London program centres around women artists of the 1980s, including the great Laurie Anderson and legendary photographer Nan Goldin. Make a beeline for Anderson’s session on Friday afternoon – it’s billed as a “multimedia storytelling” that’s part memoir and part commentary on the state of contemporary America – followed by her conversation with curator Lydia Yee.
This London-based artist’s ongoing project, Theatrum Botanicum, could easily be subtitled The Secret Life of Plants. A fully immersive experience that spans photographs, videos, slide projections, books and sound, the Theatrum “looks to the botanical world as a stage for politics at large”. Criss-crossing Europe and South Africa, it examines the ways plants have connected humans, informed traditions and generated power. Layered over this conceptual base is some stunning imagery and compelling narratives.
Even if you don’t seek out this French multimedia artist, she may still find you. Prouvost plans to lurk around fair visitors, eavesdrop on their conversations, and then have the words repeated at full volume by an opera singer. The performance is designed to be a commentary on the fact that in 2018, our personal data can easily be exposed to some very public scrutiny. With no visitor conversation off-limits, it’s a timely reminder to watch what you say because someone is always listening...
Don’t leave home without... a vial of perfume oil in your handbag, to freshen up throughout the day. We like Lumira Persian Rose – its delicate rose scent won’t interfere with the fair’s many sensorial stimulations, while its zesty citrus top notes will help keep your mind focused.
For more on where to stay, eat and play in London, visit our travel guide.
Written by Michelle Bateman