In just three years, ,a href="http://friezenewyork.com/">Frieze New York attests to the success of the London contemporary art fair’s co-opt of the Art Basel model. With its quirky Randall’s Island location and architecturally bespoke tent, it’s emerged as a main attraction for blue chip collectors, as well as a flock of satellite events, making May an important month for art in New York City. With head of programming Mia Nielsen jetting off this weekend to take in more than 190 galleries, our YYZ-rooted assistant art curator Rea McNamara passes along three must-sees for our art-savvy blog readers.
THE TALK: Kenneth Goldsmith
Sure, everyone will be snapping Instagram shots this Friday of the much anticipated chat between Masha Alekhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot with New Yorker editor David Remnick. But ever since my old York University professor Marcus Boon introduced me to the work of Kenneth Goldsmith back in my undergrad days, I’ve remained a long-time fan. Goldsmith, who was the MoMA’s first-ever poet laureate and keeper of the exhaustive online avant-garde archive Ubu Web, is a huge believer of “uncreative” writing. From plagiarism to sampling, the conceptualist – whose book, The Day, is basically a re-type of an entire New York Times edition – believes we need to overhaul our thinking around plagiarism and copyright, and embrace the originality in repurposing of the found. Frieze Talks: Kenneth Goldsmith, Sunday, May 11, 4pm.
THE PUBLIC WORK: Kara Walker’s “Marvelous Sugar Baby”
OK, so this isn’t a Frieze New York project. However, if you find yourself in Brooklyn this weekend, it’s well worth checking out the opening of Walker’s first-ever large scale public art commission. Known for her biting paper-cut silhouette caricatures of slavery stereotypes, Walker’s 35 foot-tall, 75 feet-long sphinx – covered completely in sugar – is housed in the Domino Sugar Factory, and is a radical re-addressing of the mammy, as well as the tangled history of sugar as a post-industrial America commodity. Aptly enough, this project -- commissioned by Creative Time -- precedes a massive redevelopment that will eventually see the demolition of the Domino Sugar Factory, a former raw sugar warehouse. ("It makes me very sad, actually,” said Walker to the Gallerist. "It’s so deeply embedded with meaning, and to just bulldoze that for the next phase of development is inevitable but it’s tragic.”Opens May 10. Domino Sugar Factory, South First Street at Kent Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.
THE META: Al’s Grand Hotel (1971/2014)
In 1971, conceptual art pioneer Allen Ruppersberg opened a hotel in Los Angeles. The seven-room hotel was intentionally only open for six weeks, and was legendary for its quaintly named rooms (imagine bunking one night on the “Jesus Room”?) as well as its weekend art happenings that led it to be called, according to the New York Times, “a kind of Brigadoon of Los Angeles Conceptual art.” Frieze visitors will have the opportunity to literally “check in” to a remake of the hotel, which will be carried out by Los Angeles project space Public Fiction. The hotel-within-a-big-tent will include two rooms, a lobby, and many an intervention. Available for overnight stays May 8-12, with rates from $350. Too book, call 1-646-578-8471.