Columbia GSAPP Studio 2018: Art House / Art Fair
In Fall 2018, vPPR taught an advanced studio called ‘Art House’ at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture (GSAPP), which explored introducing artist housing to a neighbourhood in the South Bronx, associated with Frieze Art Fair.
For one week each year in May, the entire international art community lands on Randall’s Island to buy, sell, collect, invest, review, observe, consume, discuss and display art at Frieze Art Fair. Launched in 2012, Frieze New York is now considered New York’s most important art fair, annually generating multi-million dollar revenues (a large booth costs a gallery $125,000), contributing to New York’s image as a global cultural capital. Hosted inside SO-IL’s elegantly designed tent and more recently Universal Design Studio’s “temporary town for art”1, Frieze is not only a commercial trade fair for gallerists, collectors and artists, but also a critical cultural event open to the general public as well – albeit at a price of $48 a day – programmed with an array of talks, screenings, an outdoor sculpture park, special artist commissions, fringe and outreach events, and more. For the remaining 51 weeks of the year, there is barely a trace of the art world or any lasting investment for adjacent existing communities. Should art fairs, such as Frieze, be held accountable, beyond their temporary staging, to deliver permanent social and cultural infrastructure to strengthen the local community?