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Frieze London 2015: The Aesthetics of Unification

The Frieze London 2015 art show was a mixture of surrealist pop art, iconic antiquities, and the extraordinary alongside the effete. The galleries represented were from all over the world, not just from Paris and New York as one might expect. Artists included were your usual big name classics, such as Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and Willem de Kooning. However, you also had up-and-coming artists such as female Iraqi painter Hayv Kahraman and African artist Kudzanai Chiurai.

Surprisingly a number of installations on the premises physically brought people together, forcing them outside of their comfort zones. Rachel Rose’s carpeted crawl-through tent brought everyone who dared to enter face to face with each other in seclusion from the outside world. That space, complete with music and colored lights, resembled something like a trance zone. The ÅYR’s Frieze Project was a succession of bedrooms including screen-printed duvets, hanging lamps, and iPhone chargers. There were school groups of children jumping on the ÅYR beds, a mix of eclectic eccentrics alongside conservatives. Something most striking was galleries representing hostile countries situated within a single space. Even so, the atmosphere was relaxed and everyone was at peace with one another. Overall, the fair had the appearance of one giant party. 

by Rowynn Dumont

by Rowynn Dumont

The German poet, historian and philosopher Friedrich von Schiller stated in his book On the Aesthetic Education of Man:

Taste alone brings harmony into society, because it establishes harmony in the individual. . . All other forms of communication divide society . . . only the communication of the Beautiful unites society, because it relates to what is common to them all.

I cannot say that all of the work on exhibit would have held up to the Kantian level of universal aesthetics, but I can say that within one single space, art had accomplished one thing that day: to bring a unification between people from all walks of life from all over the world.