Fairs United Kingdom

What’s behind the dented tent?

Artist removes Frieze Projects sculpture

A monumental sculpture intended to provide an arresting start to this year’s Frieze was dismantled last night and taken away at the artist’s request. Monika Sosnowska’s work was designed to appear as if a concrete monolith had crash-landed on a corner of the Frieze tent, as part of Frieze Projects. But the Polish artist said the work appeared “fake” once it was realised, in plywood coated in jesmonite. Taking it down “was the only honest thing I could do,” she said.

According to the artist and Neville Wakefield, the curator of Frieze Projects, the work still remains—in concept, as a dent in the tent. “We both agreed that it was better without the object,” he said. “It was too literal.” As with all Frieze Projects, the work was largely funded by EU grants. Wakefield, however, does not see the dismantling of the work as wasteful. “Frieze Projects is unique in that it allows artists to have a voice,” he said. “The great thing is that we can support Monika’s decision.”

The artist said: “Perhaps [the project] got lost in translation.” The work will still form part of Frieze Projects, even in its less corporeal form. “It is now a work in progress,” said Sosnowska.

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12 Nov 09
17:19 CET


Hey Mark, why would you want to make a project in a situation you find 'boorish'?

18 Oct 09
17:41 CET


Installation can change once you go through the process of actually seeing and realizing the imagined work on site. She should at least stand by the work as it is or have been creative enough to resolve it in a new way that she is satisfied with before the opening. Hey sometimes a work can fail. Sometimes it's an artist whose work is in transition. It can't all be good.

16 Oct 09
13:28 CET


I think the flabbergasting lack of skill really stands out in this case. An enormous amount of arrogance and belief in the rule of concept over reality makes this a really pathetic low point of frieze. What a waste.

16 Oct 09
2:23 CET


¡Qué petardo!

15 Oct 09
13:38 CET


I am in total agreement with Mark. This is a disgrace. Is it any wonder that I find myself battling to convince many people I come across of the value of contemporary art and its validity when they behave so unprofessionally and then hide behind such vacuous and plainly deceitful statements such as "it's a work in progress." Hey lets' just make it up as we go along and display neither moral or artistic responsibility for our failures and wasting public money! The lack of genuine criticality in the art world right now (as pointed out above) undermines those that wish to make a serious and genuine contribution to the visual arts.

14 Oct 09
14:49 CET


I am disgusted by this simple back-out explanation. “It is now a work in progress.” When will artists who have such opportunities think through their responsibilities as an artist before going forward? Hundreds of professional artist would have enjoyed having the opportunity to have their work seen at such a fair, but maybe not any more, our Predecessors can flip on their own work. She should have faced the wrath of critics, ooops forgot they have vanished too, all we have now are happy paid-off press units covering everything like these monumental boorish fairs. Give me a opportunity to exhibit next time round and I won't disappoint you by hiding away after failure, behind weak words smirking sideways at the public. Sincerely, Mark Gerula

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