Early May saw the inaugural Frieze New York art fair take place in the unique setting of Randall’s Island Park (overlooking the East River) with interesting backing from Deutsche Bank, BMW and Mulberry.
Frieze NY received backing from several sources, including BMW and Mulberry, but Deutsche Bank is the main sponsor of the show which presented more than 170 of the world’s leading galleries.
As in London, the German financial giant backed the US show’s mobile app. The app is effectively as guide offers in depth information on Frieze Art Fair New York 2012 including exhibiting galleries and artists, an interactive map, a searchable artwork viewer, program details and visitor information.
Frieze, which has received funding from a number of sources, is backed by specific programme area sponsorship and perhaps our favourite initiative was BMW’s collaboration on Frieze Sounds,
The premium car brand showcased a new and high-tech original series of three sound works from commissioned artists Martin Creed, Rick Moody and Frances Stark. Innovatively, the sound works themselves were premiered actually inside BMW 7 Series VIP cars operating shuttle services from Randall’s Island during the fair.
Frieze Sounds, programmed and curated by Cecilia Alemani and presented with BMW, saw Creed compose a short song that doubles as a hypnotic lullaby, Moody produce a sound version of The Undependable Global Positioning System (a literary composition functioning as an ‘anti-destination device’), and Stark continues her investigation of the generative power of language by narrating a piece set to Haydn’s “Das Echo.”
The audio works were also posted online at www.FriezeNewYork.com and were made available to download.
Cecilia Alemani said: ‘We are excited to launch Frieze Sounds for the first edition of the Frieze Art Fair in New York. Martin Creed, Rick Moody and Frances Stark have composed songs, short stories and lullabies which will make the journey to Randall’s Island even more enchanting.’
The background to the sponsorship campaign lies not only in the traditional tie-up between premium, luxury brands and the art world, but also to the design philosophy of the BMW 7 Series which is based around engineering artistry, progressive character and an abundance of innovations which aim to combine into a memorable driving experience.
While the specific feature highlighted through the brand’s backing of the Frieze audio programme is the innovation and sophistication of the 7 Series’ sound system which includes DIRAC signal processing, a 600W digital amplifier and 16 high-end loudspeakers strategically placed throughout the automobile. The object of theis technology is to ensure that all passengers are enveloped in a surround sound experience that projects concert stage sound from the luxurious quietness of the interior.
Since 2004, BMW has powered the Frieze Art Fair VIP shuttle service in London and this year’s expanding commitment included providing a fleet of BMW 7 Series vehicles for both the New York and London events.
Like BMW, fashion brand Mulberry is also sponsoring a specific initiative within the show – Frieze Projects. This programme sees eight artists commissioned to create installations and artworks around the fair’s home on Randall Island.
Mulberry also served up complimentary Frieze tote bags, newspapers and maps designed exclusively for the premiere New York show.
Furthermore, tours were also given to a few lucky art students carefully selected to attend by Mulberry.
Mulberry brand director Georgia Fendley also hosted a Friday night dinner in honour of the artists participating in the first Frieze New York art fair. Guests also included celebrities and fashionistas such as Shala Monroque, Lauren Remington Platt, and Alexa Chung.
At the dinner metallic balloons in the shape of Mulberry handbags with padlocks surrounded the dining room. While seats at the white-linen covered round tables were marked not with place cards, but with gold boxes containing his and hers leather bags from Mulberry’s latest collection.
Dinner was followed by a special performance from music star Lana Del Rey (herself the inspiration for the handbags).
BMW and Mulberry’s activation of their sponsorship is further p[roof, if it were needed of premium automotive and luxury fashion brands’ love affair with art and music.
But both campaigns certainly a direct experiential link between the art and the sponsor brand.