From a nude dude to poems for the weary: the latest gossip from Frieze London

Plus, Fanny Giquel shares her vape smoke and a new arty eatery

Conversation piece: Ron Mueck’s hyperrealistic work lived under its owner’s glass coffee table for more than 20 years Photo: Gareth Harris

Conversation piece: Ron Mueck’s hyperrealistic work lived under its owner’s glass coffee table for more than 20 years Photo: Gareth Harris

Who’s the (dead) daddy?

Ron Mueck’s hyperrealistic sculptures at London’s Thaddaeus Ropac gallery on Dover Street—showing warts n’all—are making people look twice, especially the Dead Dad (1996-97) piece that depicts a deceased naked older man. The work is from the collection of the late Chicago collector Stefan Edlis who kept it under a glass coffee table in his sitting room for more than 20 years. “We have Dead Dad well protected,” Edlis told the critic Judd Tully in 2007. “He’s under our Giacometti glass-topped coffee table because we didn’t want to have a dead person in the middle of the living room. So we sit on the sofa and have our drinks looking down at Dead Dad.” Pizza and prosecco tonight? Over my dead [dad] body.

Blowing smoke up your mask: Giquel’s collaborators show how it’s done Photo: David Owens

Full steam ahead

The French artist Fanny Giquel has been pushing topical ideas to do with personal space and social distancing to uncomfortable extremes on the Hua International stand. For her regular daily performances her collaborators wear sculptural glass prostheses while Giquel blows vape smoke through a pipe that billows out into the atmosphere through perforations in the moulds. One especially excruciating version is designed to be worn over the head until the steam from the participant’s breath renders their features invisible. Covid mask-induced claustrophobia seems positively mild in comparison.

A change of pace—and perhaps some poetic enlightenment—is but a phone call away Photo: David Owens

Wise words for the weary

Feeling weary at Frieze? Why not pick up your phone and dial-a-poem, says Almine Rech gallery, which has the number for John Giorno’s impressive audio work emblazoned across its stand. One of the late US artist’s most important audio works, in the UK for the first time, gives callers a chance to hear recordings from an archive of poetry and political oration first produced in 1968. Visitors ringing the poetry hotline at the fair have been treated, for instance, to the veteran US poet Maureen Owen reading from her early collection Hearts in Space (1980): “I’m taking a ride with you in my head,” she says. Dial up and chill out.

The Toklas restaurant Photo: Matthieu Lavanchy

Frieze restaurant fudges it

It’s no secret that the Frieze co-founders Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharpe are serious foodies. “We’ve always loved food and talked about opening a restaurant together, long before we thought of doing Frieze,” says Slotover. Now they’ve done it: Toklas, named after the writer and cookbook author Alice B Toklas has had artists, gallerists and museum directors flocking to savour its elegant Brutalist interior, and it is hosting a slew of dinners during Frieze week. Slotover says the eaterie offers “excellent, simple, healthy food in an environment where our friends in the art world can feel comfortable and bump into each other”. Curiously missing from the menu is Alice B Toklas’s most famous dish: her legendary Hashish Fudge.