Frieze New York & One Night Cheap Hotel
Frieze New York
Randall’s Island, NY
May 4 - 7, 2012
What’s left to write about art fairs that hasn’t already been written? Their formula, and the resultant criticism, is fairly established at this point: main fair, satellite fairs, schmoozing and a smorgasbord of ancillary lectures, projects and events meant to legitimize, or at least provide a semblance of equilibrium, for the unfettered capitalism on display in the booths. Did I mention parties? If galleries making money, or the commodification of art that fairs represent isn't all that shocking (which in this context it shouldn’t be), than our unquestioned willingness to embrace the marriage and attend the ceremony maybe should be (especially for the artists amongst us). Frieze comes to New York’s Randall’s Island this year with a temporary exhibition hall designed by New York based architects SO-IL, dedicated ferry service (graciously included with your ticket cost—lest we forget that art fairs are a franchised business unto themselves), and a schedule of talks by an international who’s-who of curators, artists and academics. Boasting the opportunity to see work by over 1,000 international artists from over 170 of the worlds best contemporary galleries, Frieze looks to bring ‘an international focus to the dynamic contemporary art scene in New York.’ It’s hard not to be highly skeptical, even cynical, when met with language like this coming from an art fair. The commercial context of fairs and the type of work that is required to be present at them is taken for granted at this point, so why not embrace the legitimizing—albeit meaningless—vocabulary of less money-oriented approaches? With these things firmly in mind, I’ll be boarding an East River ferry this weekend and if nothing else, enjoying a nice view of Manhattan.
Eric Zimmerman is an artist and Editor of ...might be good.
One Night Cheap Hotel
Super 8 Motel, Austin
April 26, 2012
The idea of a pop-up exhibition is certainly not a new concept. This scrappy, DIY breed of exhibition is proof that art shows can happen on a minimal budget, provided you have a space, artwork and maybe a few refreshments for opening night. Perhaps it’s the recessionary economy, but pop-ups have been becoming more and more popular, finding temporary spaces in empty storefronts, unleased condos, buildings about to be torn down and in the case of One Night Cheap Hotel, three rented rooms of a Super 8 Motel. Curated and organized by artists Ricky Yanas and Teresa Cervantes, the renegade art show included a selection of works from young Austin artists with mediums ranging from painting, sculpture, photography and site-specific installation. The work itself—although there were some decent pieces—was not the point. An experimental event, Yanas and Cervantes are interested in testing limitations in a subtle and non-confrontational way. The motel was not informed of the one-night event, the work was installed in one afternoon (with no damage to the rooms) and the guest list was open. The thrill was that everyone was in on it—even the handful of unwitting visitors that were actual patrons of the motel, drawn in by the crowd of people. Unexpected and surreptitious, One Night Cheap Hotel was a stimulating change of pace from the usual opening night. And if you missed out—light that fire under your art butt and let us know where to meet you.
Emily Ng is an artist and Production Associate at Fluent~Collaborative.