Mirroring Today

Mirroring Today

Frieze London returns to Regent’s Park for 2019, bringing together over 160 galleries from around the world. Aesthetica navigates this year’s expansive programme, selecting must-attend exhibitions and events.

Kara Walker’s (b 1969) Hyundai Commission Fons Americanus has been unveiled at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall (opening 2 October). The 13-metre tall working fountain references the Victoria Memorial at Buckingham Palace, London, and looks at interconnected histories of Africa, America and Europe. Drawing on the tragedies the transatlantic slave trade, it serves as a stark reminder of the history behind imperial monuments. At Frieze London, an exhibition of the New York-based artist, hosted by Sikkema Jenkins & Co, explores Walker’s wider oeuvre – which is renowned for exploring race, sexuality and violence through black paper-cut figures.

2019’s programme of solo shows also includes Korean artist Do Ho Suh (b. 1962). Represented by STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery, Singapore, the practitioner is recognised for large-scale fabric installations of his previous dwellings. Frieze presents a series of colourful thread drawings that expand on notions of memory, home and personal history. Textiles are central to this year’s event, which introduces Woven. Practitioners from Brazil, the Philippines, China, India, the USA and Madagascar work with vernacular, indigenous, or underground traditions to make visible, as Para-Site Executive Director/Curator Cosmin Costinas notes, “the histories and continuous legacies of the colonial catastrophe, from the economies around textiles to current forms of exploitation and political complicity.”

We are living in uncertain times. Curated presentations reflect this, looking at today’s key questions through the lens of contemporary art. Technology and religion are brought into focus in Techno-Shamanism: The Sacred and Ineffable from The Breeder, Athens, which draws inspiration from the late Greek kinetic artist Takis. Jac Leirner and Virginia Overton of White Cube, London, look at consumerism and exchange, whilst Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, Johannesburg and London, presents intergenerational dialogues around gender, race and displacement. Sue Williamson, Tabita Rezaire, William Kentridge and inaugural Frieze artist award-winner Kapwani Kiwanga are part of this revolving show. The 2019 recipient, Himali Singh Soin, addresses the “state of the nation” in a moving image work – using the Arctic landscape to foreground the climate crisis and dream up mythical, other-worldly futures.

Beyond the gallery space, Frieze Talks marks the Bauhaus centenary. Anni Albers is the subject of one discussion, whilst the structure of art schools forms another. The programme is inspired by the Bauhaus’ pioneering approach to interdisciplinarity, and its questioning of the creative disciplines’ relationship with a wider social world. Audiences can also experience the last days of Frieze Sculpture, featuring public art from Tracey Emin, Zak Ové and Jaume Plensa.

3-6 October. Find out more here.

Lead image: Do Ho Suh: Home Within Home, Installation view, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea, Courtesy National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea.