Frieze Returns to the Paramount Backlot with Installations that Speak to the Political Moment

Curators are emphasizing a ”focus of artists from Latinx/Chicanx backgrounds” and pieces that explicitly engage with politics and identity

International art fair Frieze made its L.A. debut in early 2019–and they must have liked the reception, because the festival is coming back for a second time. The event, which will run February 14 to 16, 2020, involves special events, gallery shows, and installations at venues across the city–but the centerpiece is Frieze Projects, which takes over the famous backlot at Paramount Studios. The space will become a hotbed of immersive installations, live performances, video screenings, and site-specific works.

For 2020, co-curators Rita Gonzalez and Pilar Tompkins Rivas are making an effort to foreground works created by artists coming from Latinx and Chicanx backgrounds, including Tania Candiani and Gabriella Sanchez. “For the second edition of Frieze Projects we wanted to globalize the selection of artists, while thinking in particular about Los Angeles’ relationship to the Americas. Many of the works draw on the political context within which we are operating today,” the curators wrote in a statement announcing the selections.

Another selection of works, including works by Lorna Simpson and Gary Simmons, “touch on themes of visibility, identity, and self-fashioning in relation to the African American experience,” the statement reads. Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors will present a collective performance piece which highlights the use of dance and movement as a type of restorative self-care.

The complete list of all Frieze Projects pieces announced so far is below.

Will Boone (b. 1983, USA, lives and works in Los Angeles, USA)
Presented by Karma and David Kordansky
A series of bronze sculptures reconfiguring metal die-cast toys to create new narratives and associations, while evoking a sense of nostalgia.

Tania Candiani (b. 1974, Mexico, lives and works in Mexico City, Mexico)
Presented by Instituto de Visión
A performative installation exploring the history of California during WWII and the forced labor of women in concentration camps at Manzanar.

Patrisse Cullors (b. 1983, USA, lives and works in Los Angeles, USA)
Presented by LTD Los Angeles
A collective performance which uses dance as a restorative act to reclaim time, space and emotional energy.

Jonathas de Andrade (b. 1982, Brazil, lives and works in Recife, Brazil)
Presented by Vermelho
A video work taking an intimate look inside people’s wallets and their contents, providing a broad portrayal of people living in Brazil and South America across gender, race and class.

Sayre Gomez (b. 1982, USA, lives and works in Los Angeles, USA)
Presented by François Ghebaly
A new sculpture of a palm tree cell phone tower, shining light on the ways in which Hollywood’s stagecraft has spread to urban planning.

Channing Hansen (b. 1972, USA, lives and works in Los Angeles, USA)
Presented by Marc Selwyn Fine Art
A site-specific installation with a durational performance drawing inspiration from Star Trek episodes.

Jibade-Khalil Huffman (b. 1981, USA, lives and works Philadelphia, USA)
Presented by Anat Ebgi
Huffman’s first outdoor sculpture appropriates elements of cinematic visual culture and pays homage to Grace Jones in A View to a Kill.

Barbara Kasten (b. 1936, USA, lives and works in Chicago, USA)
Presented by Hannah Hoffman and Bortolami
Kasten gives a new life to Intervention, a sculptural installation that evokes the backdrops of pictorial and filmic production while echoing the Bauhaus and Constructivism.

Vincent Ramos (b. 1973, USA, lives and works in Venice, USA)
A site-specific installation investigating both the absence and presence of the Mexican and Mexican-American / Chicano experience within Hollywood film production, specifically through the movies produced by the fair’s host, Paramount Pictures.

Gabriella Sanchez (b. 1988, USA, lives and works in Los Angeles, USA)
Presented by Charlie James Gallery
Playing with language and imagery, Sanchez’s banner and other pieces engaging with the signage, reference Chicanx and barrio culture, machismo and the interspace between American and Latin culture.

Gary Simmons (b. 1964, USA, lives and works in Los Angeles, USA)
Presented by Regen Projects
A restaging of the artist’s historic work Backdrop Project first shown at Metro Pictures, New York in 1993. By taking Polaroids of passers-by and offering a copy to his subjects, Simmons explored the power of self-fashioning and authorship.

Lorna Simpson (b. 1960, USA, lives and works in New York, USA)
Presented by Hauser & Wirth
Simpson collaborates with a group of African American ballet dancers on a two-channel video, addressing issues of gender, identity, memory and representation.

Tavares Strachan (b. 1979, The Bahamas, lives and works in New York, USA)
Presented by AF Projects
A neon sculpture exposing the power of Hollywood’s constructed narratives in our contemporary life, while resonating with timely political issues.

Mungo Thomson (b. 1969, USA, lives and works in Los Angeles, USA)
Presented by Frank Elbaz
New bronze sculptures patterned on Amazon boxes underline the contrast between monumentality and ephemerality.

Mario García Torres (b. 1975, Mexico, lives and works in Mexico City, Mexico)
Presented by Galleria Franco Noero
A video weaving together the 1981 accident in which Mohammad Ali talked a suicidal jumper off the ledge of a building in LA with the 1983 hit “Jump” by Van Halen.

Naama Tsabar (b. 1982, Israel, lives and works in New York, USA)
Presented by Shulamit Nazarian
A performative installation with related photographs that co-opts and upends the guitar solo through a conjoining and doubling. Using two guitars grafted together, Tsabar and a partner turn the performative gesture into an act based on intimacy and cooperation.

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