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Frieze is back in Los Angeles this week for its second edition, under the leadership of executive director Bettina Korek. Returning to Paramount Pictures Studios, the fair brings together more than 70 galleries from the U.S. and abroad. Some favorite programming continues, like the site-specific artist commissions for Frieze Projects on the Paramount Backlot, while new initiatives for 2020 include the inaugural Deutsche Bank Frieze Los Angeles Film Award.
Whitewaller spoke with Korek about what to expect for Los Angeles’s second annual Frieze Week.
WHITEWALLER: Can you tell us about why the fair wanted to acknowledge the L.A. film community with the Deutsche Bank Frieze Los Angeles Film Award?
BETTINA KOREK: The Deutsche Bank Frieze Los Angeles Film Award initiative is a development program for ten emerging, Los Angeles–based filmmakers. Film is a medium intrinsically linked to the identity of Hollywood and Los Angeles. We wanted to honor this tradition and add to it by providing young artists with a platform to hone and share their voices.
WW: Who are some of the Frieze Los Angeles first-timers we should be sure to watch for?
BK: We’re excited that so many new galleries are joining us for this edition of Frieze LA. I’m looking forward to the presentations by L.A.-based newcomers in particular, including Charlie James Gallery, who will be presenting works by Gabriella Sanchez, and Various Small Fires, who will be bringing new paintings by Calida Rawles. Other first-time exhibitors include David Lewis, Gavin Brown’s enterprise, Gladstone Gallery, Goodman Gallery, Gaga, Skarstedt, and Xavier Hufkens.
WW: Can you tell us about why you wanted to introduce the new section Focus LA?
BK: Focus LA is a feature section consisting of 13 emerging Los Angeles spaces that have been open 15 years or fewer. We were inspired by Frieze’s history of supporting emerging galleries, and wanted to merge with this while underlining Frieze Los Angeles’s distinct commitment to locality.
WW: What are some of the highlights for Frieze Projects this year?
BK: Each installation, sculpture, and performance that is part of Frieze Projects will bring new and dynamic ideas and perspectives to the backlot. Many explore themes of representation, identity, and myth. Vermelho will be presenting a video work by Jonathas de Andrade that takes an intimate look into the contents of people’s wallets, providing a broad portrayal of people living in Brazil across gender, race, and class. Sayre Gomez, presented by François Ghebaly, will debut a new sculpture of a palm tree cellphone tower, shining light on the ways in which Hollywood’s stagecraft has spread to urban planning. Tania Candiani, with Instituto de Visión, will present a performative installation exploring technology and labor, drawing correlations between the forced work of Japanese Americans incarcerated in concentration camps in California during World War II and current migrant detention camps along the U.S./Mexico border. I’m excited to see how these come together with the rest of the commissions in Frieze Projects, many of which address the current political context.
WW: Outside of the fair, what are you looking forward to seeing around L.A. this month?
BK: The L.A. art community will be coming out in full force for Frieze Week, organizing an incredible range of programming at galleries, museums, civic organizations, and other artist-driven spaces. I am looking forward to seeing highly anticipated exhibitions at L.A.’s museums timed to the fair, including “Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again” at The Broad Museum, “Julie Mehretu and Betye Saar: Call and Response” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and “Open House: Gala Porras-Kim” at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, among others. Many of L.A.’s defining galleries, including David Kordansky Gallery, L.A. Louver, Matthew Marks Gallery, Regen Projects, and Blum & Poe, will also have special exhibitions on view during Frieze Week.