Frieze Projects Artist Commissions Include Jérôme Bel’s ‘Disabled Theater’

Damien Bright performing a solo in Jérôme Bel's Disabled Theater (2013). Photo: Ian Douglas, via Metro.

Frieze London has announced the participants in Frieze Projects, curated by Nicola Lees. Seven international artists have been commissioned to create work for the fair’s Projects section, which this year focuses on interdisciplinary artists whose work involves other artistic practices, such as dance, film, and music.

The 2014 edition of Frieze Projects will feature France’s Jérôme Bel with Dance Umbrella, the UK’s Cerith Wyn Evans with ZSL London Zoo, the Dominican Republic’s Isabel Lewis with London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Liverpool Biennial, American Nick Mauss with Northern Ballet, Sophia Al Maria, American Jonathan Berger, and Switzerland’s Tobias Madison. Lees hopes that the collaborative nature of many of the works will help highlight the strong network of working relationships between artists and cultural institutions both within London and the country at large.

Several of the Frieze Project commissions are performance-based, which makes sense given that Lees has also selected the galleries for the fair’s new “Live” section, dedicated to the field of performance art. Mauss will team with Northern Ballet to host a “living stage,” creating and performing a new ballet each day of the fair. Kim Gordon and Juliana Huxtable will provide live music for the project. Bel’s latest iteration of his popular Disabled Theater series will partner with British international dance festival Dance Umbrella, while Berger will honor Andy Kaufman by restaging a lost musical number from the late comedian’s Carnegie Hall variety show.

Meanwhile, Madison is experimenting with light and video-based technologies, creating a space within which fair-goers’ motions will be captured and translated into light. A complex-sounding piece by Al Maria is described in mysterious terms by the Frieze press release: the artist “carves out subliminal routes across the fair, pointing to potential conspiracies.” Sounds creepy.

Not all of this fall’s Frieze Projects will be visible at the fair itself. An off-site piece by Wyn Evans will take place at the ZSL London Zoo, while Lewis’s roving contribution will take place across London in a series of “occasions” hosted by the artist at place like the Old Selfridges Hotel, which will somehow subvert the traditional relationship between a host and her guests.

The 2014 fair will also introduce the inaugural Frieze Artist Award for an emerging artist. As the first winner of the prize, Mélanie Matranga will present a site-specific work at Frieze London. The fair will run October 15–18.

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