There’s nothing quite like biting the hand of the 1 percent that feeds you. As part of Frieze London’s Live programming roster, the collective Shanzhai Biennial has erected a bright red, faux-salesroom off to the side of the fair’s main entrance hallway. Inside, depressed-but-sexy-looking models mug for promotional posters hawking an exclusive, £32,000,000 London property; a video tour of the luxury digs achieves strange pathos thanks to its soundtrack (a version of Sinéad O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2U.”) Wall text touts the amenities available, including “Staff Bedroom with EnSuite,” a “Panic Room,” and a “Leisure Room.” Critical stunts like this don’t always play too well at art fairs — case in point, Christian Jankowski’s yacht at Frieze back in 2011 — but Shanzhai Biennial nail the aesthetic of actual real estate pitchmen, and somehow manage to underscore the sad desperation underlying endless acquisition.
— Scott Indrisek (@indrisek)
(Photos: Scott Indrisek)