Editor’s Note: Hans Ulrich Obrist is the artistic director of Serpentine Galleries. The Frieze London fair runs Oct. 5-8, 2017.
Since its founding in 2003, Frieze London has transformed from an art world flyover fair, tucked away in Regent’s Park, into an internationally recognized cultural event that engages galleries and museums – and any other space that can repurposed to showcase art – across the city.
To mark the start of this year’s edition, Hans Ulrich Obrist, the internationally renowned curator and artistic director of Serpentine Galleries, shares his must-sees for the most exciting week of the London art calendar.
Arthur Jafa’s ‘Love is the Message, The Message is Death’ at Store Studios
There are so many reasons to visit Store Studios at 180 the Strand this year, from Lisson’s huge 50th anniversary show, “Everything at Once,” to installations by Jeremy Shaw and Ryoji Ikeda.
But don’t forget to climb the stairs to the very top of the building, where the Serpentine and the Vinyl Factory are co-presenting Arthur Jafa’s seminal video “Love is the Message, The Message is Death” in a black vinyl tent on the roof. After his critically acclaimed summer exhibition at the Serpentine Sackler, this is the long-awaited London premiere of an urgent, unmissable work.
Arthur Jafa’s “Love is the Message, The Message is Death” is on at Store Studios until Dec. 10, 2017.
‘Dan Colen: Sweet Liberty’ at Newport Street Gallery
I was very struck by this exhibition. We have always known Colen as a painter. There are paintings in the show, of course, but the surprising thing is he appears here as a sculptor. Look out for a big installation featuring the American flag, the shoes walking across the ceiling, and a strange animatronic dog, which reminds me of the Serpentine’s own “Bad Corgi,” by Ian Cheng.
“Dan Colen: Sweet Liberty” is on at Newport Street Gallery until Jan. 21, 2018.
‘Marianna Simnett: Worst Gift’ at Matt’s Gallery
Marianna is a brilliant film and installation-maker. Her work, with its subtle anxieties around health and physicality, instils a sense of discomfort, almost uncanny threat, in its viewers. In 2015, she participated in the Serpentine’s Park Nights – where a choir accompanied edits of her three films, “The Udder,” “Blood” and “Blue Roses” – and also in our 2016 Miracle Marathon.
“Marianna Simnett: Worst Gift” is on at Matt’s Gallery until Oct. 22, 2017.
‘Haroon Mirza/hrm199: For A Partnership Society’ at Zabludowicz Collection
For me, the wonder of this new commission lies in the sonic environment that Mirza creates and how he connects to the work of the pioneering Korean-American artist Nam June Paik, continuing his great artistic legacy.
“Haroon Mirza / hrm199: For A Partnership Society” is on at Zabludowicz Collection until Dec. 17, 2017.
‘Katharina Grosse: This Drove my Mother up the Wall’ at South London Gallery
I first worked with Katharina in 1999 at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris and have wonderful memories of that time. She is well known for her large, site-specific installations, so it is great to witness this, her solo institutional debut in London. Through the layers of color she applies in situ – and the white voids she leaves – the viewer also gets to experience her thought processes and actions.
“Katharina Grosse: This Drove my Mother up the Wall” is on at South London Gallery until Dec. 3, 2017.
‘Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power’ at Tate Modern
Vital viewing, especially in tandem with the work of Arthur Jafa. Curated by Mark Godfrey and Zoe Whitely, this spectacular exhibition includes so many great artists, among them Jack Whitten, Betye Saar, and David Hammons. Just an amazing show, with a strong public program to match.
“Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power” is on at Tate Modern until Oct. 22, 2017.
‘Seth Price Circa 1981’ at the Institute of Contemporary Arts
This is an amazing film installation taking over almost the whole of the ICA. Price made a real impression on me at the Stedelijk in Amsterdam. Now this is a chance to see two decades of his work in what is, incredibly, his first solo UK exhibition.
“Seth Price Circa 1981” is on at the Institute of Contemporary Arts until Jan. 7, 2018.
Guest, Ghost, Host: Machine! Marathon at City Hall, London
Is art changing in the age of artificial intelligence? Does the future belong to non-human entities? Is the existential threat real? Our 12th annual festival of ideas will address these questions, bringing together more than 50 artists, scientists, engineers, poets, developers, philosophers, filmmakers, occultists and musicians to consider the impact of AI and its relationship to art and humanity on planet Earth.
Guest, Ghost, Host: Machine! Marathon takes place at City Hall, London on Oct. 7, 2017.