The events surrounding Frieze week are numerous, and its hard to experience them all. But the ones we found most special are as follows: Grayson Perryʼs “Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman” at the British Museum has just opened. For the private view Grayson wore a prince charming blouse in pink with matching shoes and a beefeater red doublet embroidered with Alan Measleʼs [his alter ego teddybearʼs] insignia. I believe his dress is all part of his art and persona, and it is created with the same attention to detail as his work in every other media from ceramics to metal to tapestry.
It is a really inspiring show, mixing existing works Perry has selected from the museum collection, with pieces he has made, many of which were specifically in response to the museum. The show is curated by theme and ranges from his decorated motorbike to a massive tapestry with a plan of the British Museum at its heart. The centre piece is the tomb itself, a patinated vessel with castings of pieces in the collection and phials of blood, sweat and tears to represent the toil of thousands of anonymous craftspeople. In the centre is the oldest piece of the collection, a 2 million year old axehead. If like us, you make things by hand, this show makes you want to make better and more, if you donʼt use your hands, I expect this could make you want to.
At Frieze itself the annual Mecca to contemporary art in Regents Park, stand out pieces included the controversial yacht by Christian Jankowski, which was for sale either priced as a boat or as an art piece, with a far heftier price tag. Cornelia Parkerʼs installation of 3D silver objects with their flattened ʻshadowsʼ was very poetic and thought provoking, dealing with dimensionality, functionality, ideals and purpose. Jake and Dinos Chapman showed a spectacularly sinister Virgin and Child installation, and my personal favorite was a playful sculpture by Michael Landy which created a signed mechanical drawing if you agreed to let it shred up your credit card. The feeling of watching my card being shredded and knowing other people at the show were contemplating this, was strangely cleansing and cathartic.