ArtReview's Assistant Editor on what he's been up to during Frieze
Dazed Digital: Did you seen anything spectacular?
Oliver Basciano: It opened before Frieze week, but the best show in London at the moment is Ed Atkins' solo show at Chisenhale Gallery. In an uncanny digital animation a seemingly disembodied head tells a love story based around finding an eyelash under his foreskin. Atkins's work can be seen as being related to this kind of post-Internet video scene that is prevalent amongst a younger group of artists at the moment, but what makes his work (and the main film in this show in particular) really stand out is his writing ability. The narrative – as comic as it sounds – is seductive, absorbing, outstanding. On Tuesday I trekked around the west end, seeing about ten shows: Laure Prouvost's bewildering (in a good, intentional, way) film and installation at MOT International, Luc Tuymans's new paintings at David Zwirner, and the photographs of Russian artist Oleg Kulik radical actionist performances at Regina are all well worth a peek. At the Frieze Art Fair itself I really liked Mexican gallery Kurimazutto's stand: Gabriel Orozco on the walls, and some great, monumental, brutalist, sculptures of clay and wood by Adrián Villar Rojas, made originally for the New Museum's triennial.
DD: What else are you looking forward to?
Oliver Basciano: I went to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro for ArtReview recently (to produce a special supplement on art from Brazil), so it's been good to catch up with some of the artists and gallerists I met there who are here for the fair. The Sunday Art Fair is always a good, more relaxed counterpoint to Frieze too. With the latter's expansionist ambitions it's important that there is an alternative outfit operating in London too.
DD: Where's the best place for food at Frieze?
Oliver Basciano: The business of the fair's private view can be pretty stressful – so I normally avoid going to any parties afterwards. A couple of drinks in a near by pub is normally a better bet. This year however my colleague, the critic Laura McLean-Ferris, with the gallerists Emma Astner and Samara Aster, organised a dinner at White Rabbit in Dalston for a group of about 25 friends – a mixture of writers, artists and curators of a similar art world generation. A constant stream of small dishes (the rabbit coquettes are amazing) and people I actually wanted to talk to.
DD: Been to any good parties?
Oliver Basciano: Tuesday was the big night for parties – that's when Lisson and White Cube held theirs (the latter with a performance by Theaster Gates). I would have liked to have gone to Valeria Napolone's dinner to celebrate the Nicole Eisenman and Charlotte Prodger exhibitions at Studio Voltaire that night too. Both the artists are great, and I heard it was a lot of fun. You can't do everything though, and I had lovely time at Stuart Shave's dinner for David Noonan. Try to see Noonan's exhibition of monochrome screenprints on collaged fabric if you are in Fitzrovia. The big party of my week will always be ArtReview's do in its perennial Friday night slot. This year it was at the ICA (a slight break from tradition – normally we have it somewhere woodpanelled and old school) with filmmaker and former Beta Bander John Maclean, Tahita from New Young Pony Club and artist George Henry Longly DJing. The guestlist is always maxed out, and it can be stress for my colleagues to organise but it's always so much fun on the night. I'm still recovering.