Suppose while wandering the grounds under the bigtop of Frieze, you happen to be slipped a small envelope, given a wink, and left to discover the contents—your imagination wild with curiosity.
Excitedly, you open the envelope to find a numbered key and a set of instructions that will lead you to the oft-whispered, 1920s-style speakeasy, The Vault, nestled somewhere between booths in the C section, where three knocks on an unmarked door will incite a theatrical doorman to consider your entry. With your silver key, you stand as one of the lucky 200 fairgoers—chosen at random—who are welcomed into the private lounge.
And who is the mastermind behind it all?
, the Los Angeles-based sculptor who designed the Art Deco-style room and the concept behind the experience—which involves giving your key to a bartender who presents a mysterious (plywood) safe deposit box. Filled with two glasses, cocktail ingredients, and playful items like a papier-mâché tiger’s paw or a deck of cards, the contents set the tone for allegories à la Franz Kafka and Jorge Luis Borges, told by a perfectly melodramatic bartender as the drinks are mixed.