The Frieze Projects program of specially commissioned artworks to be realized at Frieze New York 2014 has been announced. The program for 2014 is curated by Cecilia Alemani and includes seven newly commissioned projects. Frieze New York is located in the unique setting of Randall’s Island Park, Manhattan, overlooking the East River.
The artists participating in the Frieze Projects program at Frieze New York this year are: Darren Bader, Eduardo Basualdo, Eva Kotátková, Marie Lorenz, Koki Tanaka and Naama Tsabar. The program will also feature a special tribute to Allen Ruppersberg’s Al’s Grand Hotel, originally realized in 1971 at 7175 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles.
The artists have been invited to conceive site-specific works that take their inspiration from the location of Randall’s Island and in particular its history as a place dedicated to leisure and recreational activities. Located both inside and outside the fair, the seven projects aim to short circuit the usual activities that take place on the island and at Frieze New York. As a whole, the projects envision new temporary spaces for reflection on the role and use of free time in our society.
Darren Bader (American, b. 1978)
Operating in the liminal space between sculpture, installation, and writing, Bader’s work questions – often ironically – notions of authorship in contemporary art. Recently Bader has written a number of humorous proposals for impossible artworks to happen around the world – examples of which have included riding the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius naked and installing a baby changing table under Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. For Frieze Projects, Bader will use Randall’s Island as an imaginary playground to stage a series of absurdist interventions. Bader, in collaboration with other artists, will compile a list of proposals for impossible artworks around the fairgrounds: his dystopian visions span from the plausible to the fantastical, and involve a wide cast of characters and locations. Bader’s proposals will be printed in a small publication which will be distributed around the fair.
Eduardo Basualdo (Argentine, b. 1977)
In his work Argentine artist Eduardo Basualdo often reflects on the reaction of the human body to the pressure of architectural restrictions – research that the artist considers part of a broader investigation into how we live within cultural limits. Basualdo’s sculptural installations, often daunting in scale and gloomy in color, are exercises in recalling the finitude of the human body. For Frieze, Basualdo will present a large-scale sculptural installation that engages with the island as a sports destination: two soccer goals will be erected in the Randall’s Island park to mimic a real soccer field, albeit impossible to use, as the goals will be blocked with glass.
Eva Kotátková (Czech, b. 1982)
In her immersive environments and assemblages of disparate objects as well as in her works on paper and performances, Czech artist Eva Kotátková examines institutions and disciplinary systems, considering the way in which they determine behavior. For Frieze, Kotátkováwill create an outdoor installation resembling a children’s playground where each structure will serve to fit people inside it, with viewers becoming an integral part of the sculpture. Each of the components will be reminiscent of an anatomical fragment, situating the participant in a specific body posture. Installed in the park, the sculptures will offer alternative resting places, becoming a form of living sculptures or tableaux vivants where visitors become part body, part object.
Marie Lorenz (American, b. 1973)
New York-based artist Marie Lorenz has been exploring and documenting New York City’s waterfronts for many years. In 2005, she started her Tide and Current Taxi project, a makeshift rowing boat built from salvaged materials, with which she takes people around the New York harbor, visiting remote locations, secret islands and looking at the city from the rare perspective of the water. For Frieze New York 2014, Lorenz will extend this project by providing an alternative ferry service around Randall’s Island. By inviting passengers to explore the island’s shore, Lorenz will provide an opportunity to witness first hand the permeable nature of the waterfront and its unique combination of natural and artificial landscape.
Koki Tanaka (Japanese, b. 1975)
Japanese artist Koki Tanaka turns common objects and seemingly banal actions into reflections on the passage of time and the organization of everyday life. A booth selling palm fronds in a flea market in Los Angeles, a water raft built with waste materials and an entire exhibition filled with discarded objects collected from a museum’s storage are some of the interventions carried out by Tanaka in an attempt to trigger a reflection on issues of value and social criticism. At Frieze New York – which the artist describes as both a social place and a market place – Tanaka will insert a series of incongruous presences, inviting representatives from the ‘invisible communities’ that inhabit Randall’s Island to spend the day at the fair, carrying out activities that are not usually performed at Frieze. Tanaka’s orchestrated actions will drive viewers to interact with the participants and encourage them to rethink the space of the art fair as a public space.
Naama Tsabar (Israeli, b. 1982)
Israeli-born, New York-based artist Naama Tsabar works across different disciplines, including sculpture, installation and performance. Often conjuring gender and power issues, her practice relates to the space of communal gatherings, such as nightclubs and bars, as well as rituals of participation such as raves and concerts. For Frieze, she has conceived a mini music festival which will take place outside the fair in the bucolic landscape of Randall’s Island, the history of which is marked by frequent important musical events such as the legendary 1970 Jimi Hendrix concert. To build her stage, Tsabar will remove the floor from a booth inside the fair, transporting outdoors a fragment of the fair’s architecture. Every day, different local underground bands will be playing on the stage, activating the space outside the fair.
Al’s Grand Hotel by Public Fiction (1971/2014)
On the occasion of the first edition of Frieze New York in 2012, Frieze Projects started a series of tributes to artist-run spaces that have defined and transformed the cultural life of contemporary cities. The first tribute dedicated to Fashion Moda and the work of John Ahearn was followed in 2013 by an homage to FOOD, the artists’ restaurant conceived by Gordon Matta- Clark and Carol Goodden.
For the 2014 edition of the fair, Frieze Projects will celebrate Al’s Grand Hotel, a legendary project realized by Allen Ruppersberg in 1971 in Los Angeles. The fully operational hotel was open for six weeks and acted as a site for gatherings, parties, performances as well as a place to spend the night.
The seven rooms were functional installations, each one themed and built with vernacular materials. Purposefully temporary, the short-lived hotel remained as a landmark in Los Angeles’ history, highly representative of both Ruppersberg’s work and the artist-run initiatives in the city’s landscape: casual, temporary and changing, with an emphasis on experience and entrepreneurialism. To restage this project at Frieze New York, Ruppersberg has imagined less a remake and more a restaging of the hotel, carried out in collaboration with the Los Angeles project space Public Fiction. The project will treat the hotel as a family enterprise that welcomes new input from a younger generation of associates and partners . Al’s Grand Hotel will be restaged as a fully functioning hotel installed within the fair, with two rooms, a lobby and a new series of interventions. Visitors to the fair can become guests of the hotel and will be allowed to book rooms in the hotel to spend the night.
Public Fiction is a project space and a journal in Northeast Los Angeles founded by Lauren Mackler and featuring a rotating cast of collaborators.
Photo: Image: Energy Study, Darren Bader. Courtesy of the artist.