Hauser & Wirth, Frieze New York 2016. Photograph by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze.

Frieze will plant fake collectors at the NY Fair

Frieze Projects will take a swipe at exhibitionism and voyeurism via art-world doppelgängers

Art Fairs are great places to look at contemporary art, but they’re also good for people watching, as Cecilia Alemani, curator of Frieze Projects for the New York iteration of the fair accepts.

“There isn’t a better place than the fair to look at people and art – and to be looked at in return,” says Alemani. “This year’s projects make us aware of this dynamic, revealing the tension between exhibitionism and voyeurism.”

And how! At Frieze New York 2017, taking place at Randall's Island, New York May 5-7, the Canadian artist Elaine Cameron-Weir “will build a military-style pillbox bunker, filled with natural and man-made materials as well as parts of her own sculptures,” explains the fair, “glimpses of which will only be possible through a discrete door.”


Jon Rafman's Transdimensional Serpent (2016) at Frieze London, 2016
Jon Rafman's Transdimensional Serpent (2016) at Frieze London, 2016

The filmmaker and essayist Jon Rafman, whose virtual reality installation was a hit at 2016 Frieze London will install a secret cinema, “where visitors can watch – and be watched while watching - a new video series fusing amateur 3D animation and niche genres of computer-generated erotica.”

Yet perhaps the most intriguing Project is the work of artist Dora Budor  who will “continue her research into the film industry by embedding fiction throughout the fair, using three doppelgangers of a well-known art collector.” We wonder who it will be: Leo DiCaprio? Tilda Swinton? One thing's for sure near-sighted or eager gallerists might want to think twice before welcoming 'big names' into their booths this May.

For more on art fair etiquette from a buyer’s point of view get Collecting Art for Love Money and More and for more on Frieze order A to Z of Contemporary Art. And if you want to see how artists work collaboratively check out our new book Co-Art: Artists on Creative Collaboration.