So its Frieze day, and the whole team from the Collection is aiming to be there for 10am to get a good look around while it’s still quiet. Except I’m struggling with public transport. At my tube station there’s fire engines and police cars parked outside, and in fact that entire branch of the northern line is shut, the buses are packed like sardines and there’s not a taxi in sight. Definitely a day I wish I’d cycled.

I made it down to Regent’s Park eventually and was really pleasantly surprised by the new layout of the fair — the sections seemed to run width-ways rather than length-ways, they’d carpeted and turned down the lights, which made the whole tent feel far more pleasant and manageable. Starting with the Frieze Focus galleries, I was totally taken with Carlos/Ishikawa’s fantastic booth. Korakrit Arunanondchai, Ed Fornieles and Oscar Murillo had clearly hit it off and the three artists had worked on site to produce something that felt both collaborative and distinctive. Murillo had ground kernels of maize and yellow corn into mounds of dough that were strewn over copper tables and the bright yellow floor. The yellow carpet had also been the site of Krit’s gestural painting, with a big, still wet puddle which occupied a corner of the booth with footprints leading out. Krit had also designed the seating in the booth, covered with Carlos/Ishikawa branded denim with detachable sections of denim jackets. Ed Fornieles had organised a nail salon. When I arrived in the morning, his assistants, all dressed in Krit’s denim jeans, were experimenting on his hands, how best to get ‘Ed’ decals on. He told me to come get my nails done later once they’d perfected the technique.

Also in the Focus section were works by A.K. Burns. Her cast aluminium workwear shirts and t-shirts were exquisitely made and the detailing of the fabric — small tears or bits of darning — were impossibly precise. More interestingly however was the story behind these works which comes from the artist’s pursuit of fare wages for artists within museums and galleries. The gallerist at Callicoon explained that she has just developed a free online database whereby artists can find out what a fare wage should be for different kinds of labour at different scales of institution, based on the income of the institution, and the salaries of its staff. A great idea to allow artists to earn a fair wage for their work mitigating their precarious position and the propensity to exploit an artist’s enthusiasm for what they do.

Another lovely work was a collaboration between artist/choreographer Adam Linder and Justin Kennedy and Jonathan P Watts. Choreographic Service No.2: Some Proximity is a proposal for a service you can acquire for an interpretative service for any environment. London based writer Watts was noting impressions of the fair in brief bursts throughout the day. His hand written missives were posted inside the booth and then interpreted in glide motion dance (on a Teflon coated floor) and improvised vocals by Linder and Kennedy. When the space was activated, it felt like a wonderful way to understand the fair and all that was in it.

Loved the work of Ella Kruglanskaya at Gavin Brown’s Enterprises. Utterly delightful. If I could take one thing home with me from the fair, it would probably be one of these. 

I ended my day at the fair with a little taste of Does This Soup Taste Ambivalent?, the controversial project by the United Brothers and served up by their very lovely mother. The performative project caused controversy in advance of the fair because the artists were cooking with vegetable that were grown in the region around the contaminated Fukushima site. In the booth there were actually a variety of soups on offer, for £3 you could have the Frieze Collector’s soup which had ingredients mostly grown in the UK. For £2 you could have the Frieze Press soup which had a few ‘contaminated’ radishes in the mix and for free, you could have the Frieze VIP soup which was an all Japanese affair. The clear vegetable broth for ordinary VIPs was absolutely delicious and it took all my reserve not to insist on finishing the entire pot for my dinner. No noticeable side effects to my gluttony as yet!

 

Find out more about the Zabludowicz Collection here