In the post-industrial society, art is the favourite divertissement and consumption good of enlightened « elites ».
The 12th edition of Frieze, the leading international contemporary art fair, recently took place in London’s Regent Park from October 15th to 18th. Featuring the world’s most reputed galleries for contemporary art, Frieze represents a fundamental focus for the art audience. Every season the London-based art fair shakes the city’s cultural fabric with powerful energy by attracting an incredible number of visitors. From famous art collectors to wealthy families and curious students, everybody attends Frieze to feel part of the shiny and once exclusive art-world, now turned into the ultimate realm of consumption. Despite the commercial aspect of the fair, which recalls dystopian images of future shopping malls filled with artworks for the wallets of greedy shopaholics, Frieze still promotes creativity and innovation. Furthermore, it offers the rather unique chance to see the works of artists from all over the world within a single venue, overcoming time and geographical boundaries. In this context, the Live and Focus sections highlighted Frieze’s experimental side, respectively dedicated to performing arts and emerging art galleries. In addition to the outstanding works showcased by major galleries such as Marian Goodman Gallery, White Cube Esther Schipper, Lehmann Maupin, Marianne Boesky, niche galleries such as Konrad Fischer Galerie and STANDARD left room for new discoveries. The fiberglass sculptures by Syrian artist Diana Al-Hadid, together with the installation of Norwegian artists Gardar Eide Einarsson and Nina Beier represented some of the most interesting examples of contemporary artworks. Outside the fair’s exhibition space, the Frieze Sculpture Park showcased modern sculptures by KAWS, Yayoi Kusama and Kristin Oppenheim among others, which explored issues of size and scale.
While what legitimates the nature of an artwork is more than ever hard to define, the cultural consumption affirms itself as a key element of lifestyle, stratified on the basis of social status.