Frieze Los Angeles: Lights, Camera, Art!

LOS ANGELES — The New York backlot of Paramount Studios, where fake brownstones and townhouses mimic city streets, has been invaded by aliens before. But it has never seen anything quite like the bright green serpent that winds all the way from a “SoHo subway station” up through several apartment windows.

The snake isn’t scary — but has alarmingly low production values, being handmade out of papier-mâché and studded with colorful aquarium pebbles. And the artist behind it, Trulee Hall, has underscored the unsophisticated nature of her beast in an accompanying claymation video, complete with that horror-movie trope of a screaming woman in a bathtub.

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“I love the fakeness of it all,” Ms. Hall said cheerfully this week on the SoHo set, where Paramount workers on a cherry picker were securing the creature, which she called “phallic and umbilical,” to the fire escape of a cast-iron building. “The entire Paramount lot is beautifully fake in a really safe way, like an adult Disney World.”

Now it’s about to become an amusement park of another sort — for art collectors.

Nearby, Lisa Anne Auerbach is also making a participatory work, creating “Psychic Art Advisor” as a shop in a brownstone marked by a neon sign in the window where those words flash in different combinations. She has brought in the performer Estela Sanchez, also known as Alpine Moon, to serve as the spiritual-aesthetic guide.

“I was thinking about the overlap between psychics and art advisers,” Ms. Auerbach said, sitting in an Eames office chair that was meant to signal the moneyed art-world presence and holding tarot cards she made for the occasion. “The shops are often run by women,” she explained. “They are often sole proprietorships, and they may be unlicensed or unaccredited — they can just put a shingle out.” She added, “We’re hoping people come in with questions about collecting, curating and creativity.”

Kori Newkirk’s work “Signal” also touches on cosmic communication. He has planted on city sidewalks two spiky sculptures, each made of old-school television antennas bunched together at the end of a pole. Looking like robotic hands, the obsolete technology now seems futuristic. “I was born analog, but I will die digital and my experience is of both,” the 48-year-old artist said.

As the antennas of one sculpture swayed close to a window during installation, Mr. Newkirk told a grip, “We can definitely bend them to get that thing snug.” A few minutes later he said in a stage whisper: “I actually wouldn’t mind breaking a window. It would give more fake-real authenticity to this fake-real place.”

Friday through Sunday at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles;


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