As a spectacle, Frieze didn’t disappoint. Fair organizers commissioned 12 artists to create site specific work on Paramount Studio’s New York backlot in a collaborative undertaking called Frieze Projects. The backlot was definitely the show stopper, and my favorite installation came from Karon Davis who transformed a building facade into a Junior High School in a piece called Game, featuring 3 sculptures of students and a principal with antlers on their heads. The work is a timely commentary on the innocent victims of unchecked gun regulation and gun violence. An accompanying musical performance piece unfortunately had to be cancelled at the last-minute, but the strength of the work alone was enough to draw crowds.
The instability of steel frame, paper maché sculptures during the rainy fair added another layer of vulnerability and impermanence to the work, but by Saturday the skies brightened and the installation was shown as intended, featuring a child resting outside the school’s facade quietly playing cats cradle, while another stoically climbs the stairs, with a backpack on her back. Davis’ trenchant commentary on mass shootings was particularly timely as the works were shown on the one year anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting.