Home Architect Hiji Nam during Frieze week in New York

Hiji Nam during Frieze week in New York

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A work of “Talents” by Scott Lyall;  series, at the Miguel Abreu stand at Frieze.  All photos by author.

A work from the “Talents” series by Scott Lyall, on the Miguel Abreu stand at Frieze. All photos by author.

LAST THURSDAY AFTERNOON, I waded through the crowds of tourists around the ship to meet my friend Anya Komar at the Shed for Frieze. Komar, a longtime former director and gallery partner of Miguel Abreu (she now runs Ulrik, in Chelsea), recalled that the Randall’s Island fair always seemed on the verge of collapse: leaking ceilings, sweat and broken air conditioners that transformed showrooms. in saunas. No dumping or human frailty at Hudson Yards; although the name of Frieze’s new location suggests a messy addiction to storing unused toys or dusty childhood trophies (OK, maybe not such a bad description for the art), the $475 million shed remains transparent and sealed, designed to eradicate all traces of the unconscious.

After what some gallerists described as the “zoo” that had been Wednesday’s preview, Thursday felt calm. Gagosian and Pace had apparently sold their stands on the second day, and palpable fatigue had begun to set in. Miguel Abreu was showing Scott Lyall’s new series of polychrome wall hangings, “Talents”, made of compressed sheets of mirror and glass printed with a distinct wavelength of pixels and gold nanoparticles. Reflective and understated, the surfaces made everything within their frames look like a blurry painting by Gerhard Richter.

“Monochrome and the mirror,” said Miguel. “The two foundations of contemporary art.”

Next, we headed to the High Line for the unveiling of the Urban Park’s third “Plinth” commission, that of Pamela Rosenkratz old tree, 2023, a rather macabre, hot pink sapling of a sculpture that was celebrated with fancy pink parfaits and popsicles, fresh strawberry cocktails and rose cotton candy on real twigs. A DJ tried to wake guests up with dance music, but the chilly wind that day kept people huddled together to warm up. I heard someone wondering out loud where art forum log on Frieze was. Someone else said, “Did you see the Whitney ISP show last night? Art was so anxious, anxious about the irrelevance of art and wanting it TO DO something. Someone had pasted IRS tax documents on a wall. I like Frieze, I like fairs, trade, money.

Pamela Rosenkranz's old tree on the High Line.

by Pamela Rosenkranz old tree at the High Line.

Meanwhile, in Chinatown, there was an event for No Agency (“the art-adjacent modeling agency that signs non-models found in local bars”), as well as an opening of the paintings adjacent to Internet by Sven Loven at No Gallery. “Humiliation Ritual” features perverted portraits of Dean Kissick, Emily Sundblad, Siyuan Zhao (the woman who stabbed someone at Art Basel Miami in 2015) and a winged Peter Theil (Peter Thiel Angel Twink) – imagine if Sound-Cloud rap was made of canvas and crossed with the satanic weirdness of twin peaks season three. The press release, on “the total craze for the sign” through the prism of the “pseudo-avant-garde” of contemporary downtown culture”, all seemed true enough, but the trolling nature of the text of the accompanying fan-fic exhibit (about the demonic and schizophrenic “The Mind-That-Possessed-Valerie Solanas-and-Forced-Her-To-Shoot-Andy-Warhol” who in turn possessed Zhao ) gave me goosebumps.

On Friday, I dove into Reena Spaulings for their Frieze-week group show with New Yorker editor Dennis Zhou. Fittingly, the theme for the magazine’s upcoming summer fiction issue is “Living It Up,” aka parties. He had recently met a Korean novelist to invite her to contribute; she had needed clarification on the English idiom, and eventually refused, explaining that she doesn’t go to parties. I, on the other hand, love their somatic theater and their potential to rearrange the usual rhythmic order of my conscious-unconscious life – the lights, the music, the psychodrama. We had more of that in store as we arrived at St. Peter’s Church in Midtown, where Lucia della Paolera had produced (and starred in) a Bach and Handel-infused opera production with music by Gobby on trumpet. and Esther Sibiude on the harp, among many others. others. The spirit and the soul merge / when they consider you, my God. . . and the people are shouting for joy / have made them deaf and dumb. . . Spirit and soul merge. From there, I headed back downtown for a Frieze party at collector Paul Leong’s apartment, where artists Julien Ceccaldi, art advisor Rob McKenzie, Matt Sova and Anya were having drinks before migrating to the Scratcher, where Reena’s afterparty and Felix Bernstein’s birthday drinks lasted until late, while others continued to party for indie-sleaze revivalist The Dare (“Sex,” “Girls”) in public hotels.

Opera by Lucia della Paolera at St. Peter's Church.

Lucia della Paolera’s opera at St. Peter’s Church.

On Saturday evening, I made my first visit to TriBeCa gallery in The Hole, where Bladee (Benjamin Reichwald) and Varg 2M (Jonas Rönnberg) – members of the Swedish artist collective Drain Gang – were opening a collaborative exhibition of paintings in a exhibition titled ‘Fucked for Life. Self-styled independent publicist Kaitlin Phillips had hosted dinner at Lucien’s and brought together an eclectic group of models, artists (Aurel Schmidt), writers (Natasha Stagg and The Guardianof Edward Helmore), podcasters (Eileen Kelly, of “Going Mental”), and members and family members of Drain Gang (musician Ecco2k and younger brother of Bladee). Well into my second Naked and Famous, I was surprised to learn that the gregarious, big-hearted, prolifically tattooed man I had been talking to for the past hour was not, in fact, Bladee, but his painting collaborator. and music, Varg; the real Bladee sat to my left – an unassuming young man with a soft, shy smile and a soft voice.

“I have to admit that I know very little about your music,” I told him.

“Thank goodness,” he said, laughing. We agreed to share the vegetarian and chicken dish.

Jonas and Benjamin asked New Yorkers around the table what the art world was like.

“Boring,” Eileen offered.

“Anxious and embarrassed,” I replied. “Which I think is what can make it boring.”

“Whenever I talk to a journalist, he always asks me: ‘Is your art political?'” said Jonas, who is of Swedish origin. “I answer: ‘Breathing is political. Every breath I take is political.’ And you know what, I absolutely agree with him.

Author and artist Bladee.

Author and artist Bladee.

As the night wore on, we went to the Pebble Bar for the afterparty for Caroline Polachek and Ethel Cain’s “Spiraling Tour” concert at Radio City Music Hall at Rockefeller Center. When the door car with the iPad asked my friend Damon Sfetsios who he was, he replied, “I’m Dean Kissick. (Andy Warhol: “The only time I want to be anything is outside of a party so I can get in.”) Inside, Korakrit Arunanondchai and Diane Severin Nguyen were drinking; John Kelsey wore his baseball cap; the real Dean Kissick, Olivia Kan-Sperling and Chloe Wise were dancing; and I collapsed.

Olivia Kan-Sperling and Dean Kissick at Pebbles.

Olivia Kan-Sperling and Dean Kissick at Pebbles.

Sunday morning I remembered that I had agreed to take photos for Kye Christensen-Knowles in preparation for an upcoming portrait exhibition at Lomex. As I arrived, hungover, at his Gowanus studio, he glanced at me and smartly handed me a Smartwater. And there, as he walked away curtly, I thought of the refraction between subject and object in our current hypervisual economy, and the ubiquity of self-representation and the prosthetic body in these new upset crazy years. The decadence continued through Tuesday night at collector’s Valeria Napoleone on Park Avenue, where Jordan Barse had hosted dinner (vegetarian and homemade, by Valeria herself) and drinks for Nancy Dwyer in an amply decorated apartment of works by Cosima von Bonin, Table and chairs by Jutta Koether, Liz Craft, Wallace & Donohue, Nicole Eisenman and Lily van der Stokker. I was delighted to see old friends and writer-curators Saim Demircan and Laura McLean-Ferris, in town from Italy for a lecture at the Swiss Institute. They joked, “Haven’t they named your column yet or is it ‘Sex and the City’?”

Swiss Institute Dinner by Wendy's Wok World, featuring author Sam Liu, Diane Severin Nguyen, Korakrit Arunanondchai, designer Isobel Herbold, artist Cherisse Gray, editor Sylvia Herbold and publicist Cynthia Leung.

Swiss Institute Dinner by Wendy’s Wok World, featuring author Sam Liu, Diane Severin Nguyen, Korakrit Arunanondchai, designer Isobel Herbold, artist Cherisse Gray, editor Sylvia Herbold and publicist Cynthia Leung.

Lacan described psychoanalysis as “the hysterization of discourse”, and my teacher Jamieson Webster reminds me that this is the tautological foundation of psychoanalysis – a body comes to represent itself somewhere and offers its living archive of libidinal configurations to the interpretation. Late night I dove into a convenience store to buy a charger for my vape (Elf Bar, sunset flavor), which I had puffed inside the fair, restaurants, apartments, bars , and even, truth be told, in church – not so much out of anxiety as out of the need to take a break from the constant scene changes of the week, and before the times when I would try to dredge up their remains for themes, frictions and arcs against an outside world where meaning seems to be collapsing more and more. In fact, the boundary between what is inside and outside, online and offline, seems more distorted and swirling than ever, and as I inhaled, then exhaled, I wondered where that would be. delusional explosion of libido – the profound amplification of a voluptuous, mutational drive – that has erupted and torn the art world’s Trump and Covid-era pieties, takes us next?

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