2017 Frieze Projects Commissions Include a Secret Movie Theater and Art Collector Impersonator

Get ready for Ryan McNamara's experiments and Jon Rafman's computer-generated erotica.

Ryan McNamara, Battleground at the Guggenheim Museum's "Works & Process." Courtesy of Ryan McNamara/Frieze New York.

Frieze New York has announced seven commissioned works for the Frieze Projects section of the fair, with an overarching theme that explores the act of seeing and being seen. This year’s artists are Dora Budor, Elaine Cameron-Weir and Jon Rafman, Giosetta Fioroni, Fabio Mauri, Ryan McNamara, and Adam Pendleton.

For the sixth edition, Cecilia Alemani, art director and chief curator of the High Line, is ready to come clean about what people actually do at fairs. “There isn’t a better place than the fair to look at people and art–and to be looked at in return,” she said in a statement. Alemani, who is also the curator of the Italian Pavilion at the upcoming 57th Venice Biennale, continued, “This year’s projects make us aware of this dynamic, revealing the tension between exhibitionism and voyeurism,” she said, noting that the works include “installations, performances, and subtle actions.”

This year, the fair will restage the experimental 1968 exhibition “Il Teatro delle Mostre,” originally held at Rome’s Galleria La Tartaruga. The tribute space will be given over to a different artist project for each day of the fair.

The radical gallery gave the emerging art forms of performance, process and installation art space to be taken seriously, showcasing the work of such artists as Franco Angeli, Alighiero Boetti, Enrico Castellani, and Giulio Paolini, among other influential Italian artists. In addition to recreating two pioneering projects that made their debut in “Il Teatro,” by Fioroni and Mauri, there will be new commissions from McNamara and Pendleton.

Details on the new works have not yet been announced, but McNamara has staged well-received dance-based performances at the Pérez Art Museum Miami and at MoMA PS1 in Queens, New York, so he may be planning another installment.

Leonardo DiCaprio talks to Tony Shafrazi at the Frieze New York VIP Lounge. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

Leonardo DiCaprio talks to Tony Shafrazi at the Frieze New York VIP Lounge. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

The other Frieze Projects pieces will include a booth from Rafman, who will turn the white cube into a secret movie theater, which will screen his video series. The work combines amateur 3-D animation and computer-generated erotica. Viewers should be ready to get meta: part of the experience will be watching visitors watch the piece.

More difficult to spot will be a performance by Dora Budor, who is hiring an actor to impersonate a “well-known art collector.” The release notes that the project “will continue her research into the film industry,” which makes us suspect she’s planting a trio of Frieze-attendee Leonardo DiCaprio doppelgangers at the event.

Frieze New York will take place at Randall’s Island Park, May 4–7 2017. 

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