Frieze London 2018, running from 4–7 October, is set to showcase the best of international contemporary art, with a discerning selection of close to 160 galleries platforming their artists in imaginative presentations. Opening for the first time with a two-day Preview, Frieze London coincides with Frieze Sculpture and Frieze Masters in Regent’s Park. New collaborations with international curators, institutions and galleries will respond to contemporary issues – from the lack of visibility of women in the marketplace to hidden systems of communication and control – and create an exceptional environment for creativity and discovery.

Diana Campbell Betancourt has come on board Frieze London 2018 as curator of its Projects section, comprising non-profit artistic commissions as well as programmes for the Frieze Artist Award, live installations, and films. This year’s Award went to Alex Baczynski-Jenkins and the film commissions for this edition are by The Otolith Group, Paul Pfeiffer and Lucy Raven. The other artists participating in the 2018 programme led by Campbell Betancourt include Christian Boltanski, Vivian Caccuri, Liz Glynn, Camille Henrot, Otobong Nkanga, Laure Prouvost, Pratchaya Phinthong, Julia Scher, and Asim Waqif.

Curator Campbell Betancourt studied at Princeton, and has been working in South and Southeast Asia since 2010 – primarily in India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines – and is now based between Brussels and Dhaka. Since 2013, she has served as the Founding Artistic Director of the Samdani Art Foundation and Chief Curator of the Dhaka Art Summit. Campbell Betancourt has developed the Dhaka Art Summit into a leading research and exhibitions platform for art from South Asia, bringing together artists, architects, curators, and writers from across South Asia through a largely commission based model where new work and exhibitions are born in Bangladesh, and has realised significant projects with artists such as Raqib Shaw, Tino Seghal, Lynda Benglis, Raqs Media Collective, Shahzia Sikander, Shilpa Gupta, Haroon Mirza, and many others through this unique platform.

Campbell Betancourt’s programming at Frieze 2018 is set to open up further collaborations with galleries and institutions, creating new space for experimental practice. Campbell Betancourt, said, “It is an honour to join the Frieze team. I know that Frieze London is a place that I never leave without discovering an emerging artist whom I want to work with. I appreciate how Frieze opens up experimental possibilities for artists and artworks that might not usually show in an established fair context to participate in their rich programming, speaking to how Frieze wants to be a part of developing contemporary art discourse and opportunities for artists, rather than simply serving as a marketplace. In this regard, I am especially excited about working on the Frieze Artist Award.”

In addition to her exhibitions making practice, Campbell is responsible for developing the Samdani Art Foundation collection and drives its international collaborations ahead of opening the foundation’s permanent home, Srihatta – Samdani Art Centre and Sculpture Park, opening in Sylhet in early 2019. Concurrent to her work in Bangladesh, Campbell Betancourt was also the Founding Artistic Director of Bellas Artes Projects in the Philippines, a non-profit international residency and exhibition programme with sites in Manila and Bataan where she curated Bruce Conner’s first major solo exhibition in Asia. She remains an advisor to Bellas Artes Projects, and she chairs the board of the Mumbai Art Room, one of India’s leading non-profit spaces. Her writing has been published by Mousse, Frieze, Art in America, and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) among others.

Speaking with Architectural Digest about her curatorial vision for this year’s non-profit section of Frieze, Campbell Betancourt explained: ““Control ~” (which when spoken aloud is pronounced “control tilde”) is a command on your computer keyboard that unlocks all of the formulas in an Excel spreadsheet and makes them visible, thus revealing the drivers behind the numbers displayed in front of you. In today’s world, there are many hidden drivers shaping our perceptions, designed to influence our values and beliefs. For example, the meaning of a seemingly transparent and neutral idea such as ‘democracy’ is impacted via social media through secret algorithms that control what individuals see, targeted advertising and data harvesting. Similar drivers exist outside of social media platforms with much greater implications for society. Frieze Live will feature works of art that draw attention to unexpected connections and hidden formulas that influence and impact the way we perceive and experience the world.”


Feature image via Alex Baczynski-Jenkins

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