Today Frieze announces that Swiss curator Raphael Gygax has been selected as the new Curator of Frieze Projects - the innovative, non-profit programme of artist commissions at Frieze London, established in 2003. Gygax, who is Curator at Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, will devise the 2016 Frieze Projects, commissioning artists to realise ambitious new work at the fair. Frieze Projects and the Frieze Artist Award are supported by the LUMA Foundation.
Victoria Siddall, Director of the Frieze fairs, said: ‘The Frieze Projects programme of artist commissions has been a cornerstone of the fair since its inception in 2003. I am thrilled to welcome Raphael Gygax as the new curator of the projects for Frieze London. His diverse interests in performance, film and theatre, and his wide-ranging curatorial experience, will continue a rich tradition – begun by Polly Staple and most recently led by Nicola Lees – of commissioning exciting, ambitious, site-specific works which challenge disciplinary boundaries and contribute to the entirely unique experience of the Frieze fairs.’ Gygax said: ‘It’s an incredible opportunity for me to work with such an interesting organization that manages to stay so dynamic, curious and enlightened – and I feel honoured. I would like to use the international visibility that this platform offers to work with artists from different generations and art fields. Diversity, transformation, hospitality and otherness will be important key terms that will accompany me on this journey.’
Gygax has explored performance, dance and body politics through diverse academic and curatorial activities, including a recently completed PhD at the University of Berne. As Curator at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Gygax has curated solo exhibitions by Xanti Schawinsky (2015), Wu Tsang (2014), Carey Young (2013), Stephen G. Rhodes (2013), Alex Bag (2011), Spartacus Chetwynd (2007), and Cory Arcangel (2005), among others; while his group exhibitions have included ‘Sacré 101 – An Exhibition Based on ‹The Rite of Spring›’ (2014) and a collaborative theatre/art project with the writer Sibylle Berg. Gygax has a longstanding relationship with Frieze, as a contributor to frieze and frieze d/e magazines, and as advisor to the Frame, Focus and Live sections for emerging galleries and performance at Frieze New York and Frieze London (2014–15).
25 November 2015, New Curator for Frieze Projects Encompassing Frieze Projects, Frieze Film, Frieze Music and the Frieze Artist Award, the non-profit programme at Frieze London has commissioned new work by artists and collectives including ÅYR, Charles Atlas, Lutz Bacher, Jérôme Bel, Ryan Gander, Grizedale Arts / Yangjiang Group, Pierre Huyghe, Christian Jankowski, Agnieszka Kurant, Nick Mauss, Meredith Monk, Mike Nelson, Ken Okiishi, Laure Prouvost, Rachel Rose, Kara Walker and Cerith Wyn Evans, among many others.
With responsibility for the delivery of a high-profile commissioning programme at Frieze London, Gygax takes over from Nicola Lees, who led the Frieze Projects programme from 2013–15, and who recently curated the 31st Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana. Previous curators include Sarah McCrory, who held the position from 2009–12, Neville Wakefield (2007-8) and Polly Staple (2003–6).
Gygax also participates in the selection jury for the Frieze Artist Award, which is an international, open call application for an emerging artist to realize a major commission at Frieze London 2016 – as part of the Frieze Projects programme, under the guidance of Gygax and his team. The Frieze Artist Award is supported by the LUMA Foundation and will open for applications in December.
Frieze London will take place 5–8 October 2016 and is sponsored by Deutsche Bank for the thirteenth consecutive year.