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Ryan Trecartin, Lizzie Fitch, Total Freedom Frieze
Ryan Trecartin, Lizzie Fitch, Total Freedom and more – it’s got to be good, obviouslyCourtesy the gallery

The unmissable moments at Frieze

From soup sourced from Fukushima to a snoozing security guard, we plot out this year’s ultimate Frieze fest itinerary

If you’re into art, it’s easy to feel that Frieze takes over London come October. There are Cory Arcangel poster works in tube lifts, continuous parties with free booze everywhere and dancers inserted into every artistic corner alongside the copious amounts of art. To help to navigate your way through, below are ten highlights that make it worth getting out there.


This performance at Frieze Live was incredible. They invited people to eat soup made from vegetables grown in the area around Fukushima. The piece intended to bring attention to the failure of Japan to clean up the ongoing post-nuclear mess that is being swept under the table.


A lively addition to Frieze week. He took over the Carlos Ishikawa booth at Frieze with a nail bar and acres of his burning denim print and paintings, and his sell out film and performance event with Boychild at the ICA Off Site at Old Selfridges Hotel is guaranteed to be awesome.


Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch’s installation at Zabludowicz Collection is unmissable – even for those who caught it at Venice. Fade to Mind affiliate Total Freedom and performers like Rachel Lord are bringing it to life on Friday. It’s got to be good, obviously.


Salon 94 collatored with The Smile Face Museum for an entire stand devoted to the yellow glowing grin. This included work from Aurel Schmidt, Jeremy Deller, Nate Lowman, Joyce Pensato, Jordon Wolfson, as well as big paintings by Jayson Musson. Guaranteed smiles all round.


The genius Mike Smith transformed Dan Gunn’s booth at Frieze into a pop-up nuclear fall out installation. This included free shots served by the artist at the bar and an arcade game that was intentionally embedded with failure.


Buchel’s “Sleeping Guard” at the Hauser & Wirth stand (a wunderkamer exhibition curated by artist Mark Wallinger) was hands down the best thing at Frieze. First you wondered if he was alive. Then if he was just bad at his job. Then he was treated as an object. A delightful interruption to fair consumption. 


The Sunday Art Fair had an extra DIY vibe this year but Seventeen Gallery’s booth was stand out – a black shed containing an incredible film by the artist Sophie Michael. Intimate, beautiful, painterly, colourful, abstract brilliance.


Frieze Masters was worth visiting just for this booth. Helly Nahmad created an entire chaotic fantasy 1968 apartment for a fictional collector to house works by Magritte, Dubuffet and Fontana. This is probably the best booth you will ever see at an art fair in your life.


There are tons of blockbuster shows on during Frieze but Matthew Barney’s at Sadie Coles was a serious WOW! The Kingly Street space was filled with weird semi-industrial, semi-organic zinc sculptures and amazing etched drawings on metal that can only be deciphered in life.


This Istanbul stalwart has just opened a London base on Charing Cross Road. It’s launch party was one of the most fun nights all week, with neverending wine and excited metallers stumbling in from the Crobar to look at work by Banu Cennetoglu and Tamara Henderson.