by Stephanie Syjuco
The second installment of a semi-diaristic series of entries relating to travels and exhibitions in London and New York during October 2009. Read part 1 here
Gahhhhh! Well, I have utterly failed in my attempt at providing intrepid behind-the-scenes reporting from the front lines of the Frieze Art Fair in London, and for that I am woefully sorry. Yes, it came and went (October 14 – 18), and alas, I was not the journalistic gadfly that I thought I would be. I had visions of even opening up a Twitter account to report on-the-spot celebrity art sightings (look! it’s John Baldessari at the champagne counter! OMG, isn’t that Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Moss with Matthew Higgs at the Gagosian booth? Who knew art and celebrity were so intertwined?!?). Sigh. So many sad emoticon faces to follow up on this one… :( :( :(
A David Shrigley remake, copied off of a digital snapshot taken in a [Danish] gallery booth by Jim Ricks. Upon hearing that Shrigleys were being handmade, a crew from his gallery came by to titter amongst themselves and hover over Jim while he painted it. Not realizing who they were, he exclaimed to them “Can you believe they’re selling this for 4000 pounds (about $6800) over there?” “Yes,” one replied. “We’re the gallerists.” Ooops. Needless to say, a fun time was had by all, with no (or at least, very few) hard feelings all around.
On the left: a remake of a Rirkrit Tiravanija work “The Days of This Society Is Numbered,” (original cost: 90,000 GBP, or about $150,000). Our version, by Jim Ricks (cost: 500 GBP or about $850), but using papers from the Irish Times instead of the New York Times. Considering that he is generally known for ephemeral activities and dematerialized events, it was surprising to see so much “product” of Tiravanija’s for sale at his gallery booth, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. In a Guardian UK article, Brown was quoted as having a “flat” response to our remakes and later went further to say it had “flatlined.”
The giant “I” in the background is a Mark Wallinger remake by yours truly. Sadly, it was the only thing I actually physically made at the Fair. I had so many plans, too little time, and too much management to accomplish. Sigh. Also pictured: work by Bear Lake and Jim Ricks.
Detail: mini sculptures by Claudia Djabbari. So modest, so cute! Made of cardboard, self hardening clay, and tissue, the one in the front is a remake of a marble large-scale sculpture.
Randal Moore from Kukje gallery, surveying the mini sculptures being made by Claudia Djabbari that knock-off his artist, Gimhongsok. We wound up giving him one as a gift in the end. I know Randy from his days at John Berggruen Gallery here in SF, and it was a pleasure to see him in London, although slightly disconcerting after realizing we were entangled in a way. His sense of humor saved the day. I think he gave our version as a gift to the artist.
An hour after the Fair doors closed on the last day, we had completely disassembled everything, packing up supplies and collapsing the Production and Gallery Space. It felt sort of melancholy, actually, like a burst of energy and delirious exuberance had been expended during the week, only to completely close up shop forever… COPYSTAND was fleeting and will not be repeated, like a pop-up temporary shop that only existed for the context of the wild and woolly situation that was Frieze Fair 2009. Out with a bang… COPSYTAND has left the building.