28 Oct 2009

What was the Frieze?

This year a fleeting look at an unstable market, some desperate businessmen, a few real artists.

While the Zoo art fair has undergone considerable change, the Frieze has teetered, and regains its balance. Sales were so low last year that most feel galleries were 'playing safe' in choosing this year's art. Certainly it took me three visits to our Resonancefm booth, before I saw anything on the aisles that made me feel more than despair, or worse: numb.

Grayson Perry's tapestry, pictured, and some other choice pieces reminded me that artists are shrewd social commentators, and magicians at delivery, as much in fine art as in the other arts subjects.

A talk by film-maker Agnes Varda really made the weekend, while other talks spurred on by the recession: Art and The New Deal, stir some interest while other fall flat declaring "we are out of ideas, or we are so into ourselves and have
forgotten that you are not."

Overall there were less works that required an audience, less interventions, less fun which left the Frieze feeling like less of an event. The Zoo on the other hand featured sound pieces by Richard Strange, in a real east-end depot, as opposed to the Frieze's odd choice for the after party: a psuedo-arts-depot recreated in the downstairs of an exclusive Mayfair restaurant, complete with agressive bouncers and dining elite. The very reality of the Zoo and mimicking by the Frieze has left us laughing, for life imitating art has never been so complicated.

Local fast food shop in Hoxton High market references Frieze.