This year’s Frieze New York Projects, curated by Cecilia Alemani, all address “magical possibilities of artistic intervention” ranging from an inflatable sculpture by Alex da Corte, a pickpocket dispatched by David Horvitz, and a flashback at Maurizio Cattelan’s big break into the New York art world.
For the past few years one of the fair’s special projects takes on the form of homage to an alternative space of art worlds past– there was a Flux-Labyrinth tribute last year, and a revival of E.A.T before that– and this year, Cattelan nods to Daniel Newberg Gallery. Founded in Tribeca in 1984, for ten years Newburg Gallery championed artists such as Rudolf Stinger, Jack Whitten, and Cattelan himself (his first U.S. solo show was there). In the gallery’s honor, Cattelan has recreated his first show there, Enter at Your Own Risk—Do Not Touch, Do Not Feed, No Smoking, No Photographs, No Dogs, Thank you (1994). Visitors enter a small room containing only an opulent chandelier…and a live donkey. The gist: “a portrait of the artist as a young ass.”
Los Angeles and New York-based artist David Horvitz takes a sly approach to the hurried dealings of art fairs with his commission: a professional pickpocket, who will drop small sculptures into the bags of visitors while they are otherwise preoccupied, looking at or buying art. What the sculptures look like or how many there are remains unknown in this artful reversal of exchange.
Near fair’s north entrance, Eduardo Navarro’s performance art piece offers a literal look outside the fair’s walls: up at the clouds. Performers attempt to imitate the movements of passing forms overhead by wearing mirrors around their waists and on their heads, so as to base their performances off what they can observe. Performances will take place throughout the duration of the fair at 11:30am, 2:30pm, and 5:30pm.
Fresh off the opening of a solo exhibition at MASS MoCA, Alex da Corte’s commissioned work, Free Money, floats just above the fair tent over Randall’s Island. The balloon, a one-toothed and screaming baby, apes a similar sculpture made by artist Philippe Parreno that replicated a parade float from Tim Burton’s 1992 Batman Returns– a reminder that replication can be a kind of magic as well.
The London-based artist and poet uses several locations for her commissioned work 100% OTHER FIBRES throughout the fair, made up of a combination of video, audio, text, and sculpture. Meant as an interpretation of the fair tent, the works each depicts a severed spinal cord invaded by halved dogs and glitching screens– a nod to the chaos. Phillipson also employs mini-trampolines, dirt, and cartoon pop-outs in her various renditions of this sendup.