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July 11 2014

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2 posts tagged "Peres Projects Berlin"

James Franco Welcomes You to Gay Town

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James Franco’s face—usually found in Gucci ads, movies, and plastered across celebrity-gossip sites—is seen everywhere in Gay Town, his second solo show in Berlin with the Peres Projects gallery. A veritable self-portrait, the multimedia installation responds to obsession with celebrity. And thanks to his position as, well, a celebrity, Franco offers a unique, insider perspective on fandom and stardom in what seems like an attempt to turn Hollywood stereotypes on their heads. Take, for instance, the collection of five hundred rugs Franco presents, many covered with screenshots of fans’ blogs, gossip sites, and Huffington Post slams of his social life, sex life, and intellectual pursuits. Franco scrawls defensive notes all over these images. “To make a self-portrait of my public persona, instead of me in my bedroom, is to make my art about something larger,” said Franco. There’s even a lo-fi video enactment of one fan’s slash-fiction fantasies of Franco having sex with Spider-Man and prison inmates. Indeed, if anyone is qualified to comment on obsessive celebrity culture, it’s Mr. Franco. One of his rugs reads, “Cindy Sherman is not recognized at her own show.” Something tells us that, for better or worse, the actor-cum-artist doesn’t have that problem.

Gay Town is on view at Peres Projects in Berlin through March 9.

Photo:Alonso Dominguez

Frieze Frame

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Artist Banks Violette’s massive graphite and gloss canvas at Team Gallery’s Frieze Art Fair booth says, “I would rather be killing my family.” But Valentino, Elle Macpherson, Gwen Stefani, Daphne Guinness, Tom Ford, Courtney Love, and the other attendees at the opening of the ninth Frieze seemed happy to mingle and peruse the art instead.

Even though sales are steadily increasing after the recession, frugality has replaced fashion as a dominant theme for the work on view. There are fewer references to pop culture and luxury, and a more low-tech crafty feel from work like LuckyPDF’s live radio broadcasts, Franz West’s enormous, roughly knotted phallus sculpture at Gagosian, and Dan Colen’s massive chewing gum canvas at Peres Projects Berlin. Mark Hix’s packed on-site canteen contained “credit crunch ice cream,” a conceptually rich dessert of vanilla and chocolate scoops mixed with gold honeycomb and topped with chocolate sauce, half the price of other puddings at just £4.50.

The fair’s most popular participant, however, was an industrious red hermit crab who dutifully carried a replica of Constantin Brancusi’s serene Sleeping Muse sculpture on its back, while navigating through Pierre Huyghe’s aquarium in the Frieze Projects section. The delight this recontextualization of iconic art gave viewers was reflected in Lily Cole’s summation of the Frieze experience while at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise stand, “Fairs or galleries, I really care less about the context,” she said. “I just love looking at lots and lots of good art.”

Photo: Dave M. Benett / Getty Images