Enough Art, Let’s Dance: Top 7 Performance Works During Frieze Week

Thank god art is not just something you hang on a wall. Call it the Abramović effect, but the past few years have seen an enormous revival of interest in performance work. Frieze is not unaware of the desire for engagement that performance brings and has created a new section at this year’s fair, “Frieze Live,” where six galleries have been invited to produce artworks inserted into the fair. This is outside of the curated Frieze Projects section, which also includes performances this year from artists including Cerith Wyn Evans, who takes his Project to the ZSL London Zoo. Here are some of the most exciting performance events across the week for those who want a dose of spectacle, theatre, and dancing with their visual consumption.

1. Jerome Bel

This performance was one of the hot tickets at the last dOCUMENTA and is an off-site Frieze Project at the Shaw Theatre for only three performances over two days. The project is a collaboration between the artists and with Zurich-based Theater HORA, a group of professional actors with learning disabilities. French dancer-choreographer-artist Bel has a notable performance history, including choreographic objects, dance workshops, and projects where movement as a form of visual language and syntax.

2. Adam Linder

Berlin-based artist Adam Linder’s performance is part of the Frieze Live strand, which is reinvigorating the fair. His Choreographic Service No. 2 is a project where two dancers and an art writer are available for hire by the hour. Conceived for Frieze, the writer will tour the fair collecting words that will be used to create a musical score and, in-turn, a dance performance. Linder, who is a member of the Royal Ballet, has performed with the Michael Clark Company and Pablo Bronstein, so expect something very good.

3. Lloyd Corporation

Collaborative duo Lloyd Corporation, a.k.a. artists Sebastian Lloyd Rees and Ali Eisa, are transforming spots in the Hayward Gallery into a performance installation as part of the “MIRRORCITY” show. They are using “living statues”—the bane of urban tourist spots—to explore ideas around labour, highlighting largely ignored work from sign holders and street vendor. The Hayward’s Concrete café is also being turned into an installation, touching on advertising, display, and invisible capitalism.

4. Total Freedom

Los Angeles DJ, artist and co-founder of record label/movement Fade to Mind, Total Freedom is taking over Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch’s installation Priority Innfield at the Zabludowicz Collection for a curated night of music and performance entitled “Total Freedom’s Burning Head Collage.” This music is guaranteed to be very good and Trecartin/Fitch performers, like Rachel Lord and Raúl De Nieves, should bring the hyper-queer internet-fast-cut weirdness of the art installation to another level of life.

5. Siobhan Davies Dance

The ICA has curated an entire off-site project at the old Selfridges Hotel with a bunch of very impressive performance works, including pieces by Korakrit Arunanondchai, NTS radio, and the dance company taking over the art world: Siobhan Davies Dance. Following on from a number of performances at spaces like Bristol’s Arnolfini and the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, the company is performing “Table of Contents,” which questions the archiving of dance.

6. Evening of Performance at DRAF

The David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF) has an incredible evening of performances to coincide with Frieze week. It includes young artists Quinn Latimer and Megan Rooney performing a poetic script piece, conceptual dance pieces presented by Joe Moran, a sound piece by Eloise Hawser, a dose of video and live music from Planningtorock, and most excitedly for those you are YBA hungry Sarah Lucas performing a piece from her “Fried Egg” series.

7. James Lee Byars

Michael Werner Gallery has selected ten participants to restage artist James Lee Byars’ performance piece Hat for Ten daily at their stand at Frieze. The 1968 work consists of a red satin hat for 10 people. Other similar works from the artist in the past included Mile Long Fabric Walk (Do) intended for 500 people or the self explanatory 100 in a Hat or Two in a Hat (Breathe). A sweet conceptual take on ideas of participation and passivity.

Preview Frieze London and Frieze Masters on Artsy. 

Nick Mauss performance sketches. Courtesy Frieze London.

Jerome Bel and Theater Hora present Disabled Theatre at New York Live Arts. Photograph: Ursula Kaufmann.

Adam Linder, Several Costume Changes, 2012, stage work, 20 minutes. Courtesy of the artist and Silberkuppe.

Lloyd Corporation, Street Vendors (Pantheon), Rome, 2013. © and courtesy of the artists, 2014.

Ryan Trecartin, Lizzie Fitch/Ryan Trecartin, Priority Innfield, 2013. Installation view Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2014.  Photo: Stuart Whipps.

Florence Peake performs at 2013 DRAF Evening of Performances. Photo: Josh Redman.