Arts Radar: 12th October
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London has been hit by its annual Frieze fair: that time of the year when a load of celebrities and art big dogs roll into town, go to Regent's Park and are frozen in ice for regular punters to come and take a look at how smooth their skin is, and how expensive their boots are. It's a crazy time of year with every gallery about vying for our attention - but you can't go to it all, or can you?
Jake & Dinos Champan are pretty impressive. Not only do they make dark, disturbing and humorous works that reflect the absurd brutishness of the contemporary age but they also manage to spend significant time with each other without committing fratricide. Their latest outing finds them taking inspo from Goya's unflinching etchings 'The Disasters of War'; twisting, distorting and fucking with them to investigate the violence of the contemporary age. Delightful, disturbing and guaranteed to get you feeling a lil' conflicted.
Anybody who's anybody and even a few nobodies made their way to last year's Infinite Mix show at Store Studios, and this is sort of like round two as The The Vinyl Factory and Lisson Gallery bring another autumn blockbuster to shake our senses. Loosely connected to John Cage’s 1966 quote, 'Nowadays everything happens at once and our souls are conveniently electronic (omniattentive),' it's in the same immersive audio-visual mould of last year's showstopper. Artists include Arthur Jafa, Ryoji Ikeda, Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg and Susan Hiller.
Now for a super engaged socially-conscious piece of film to give you a timely reminder of the fragile nature of things. Which is just the thing you need right now. British artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah's most ambitious project to date is an immersive six-channel installation that ruminates on climate change, human communities and the wilderness. Ideas about animal extinctions, the memory of ice and the plastic ocean are presented through archive footage and a hypnotic, ethereal soundtrack. Humanity eh? What are we like.
German artist Katharina Grosse has covered all kinds of spaces with her wild spray gun of paint: from abandoned buildings to public gardens and seashores. By that reckoning, doing it in an empty art gallery might not seem too wild but it is what it is, so lets just get on with it. This is a little like a Dulux warehouse exploded, but in an arty way, naturally, with wave-like psychedelic abstractions of colour roaming everywhere. And we really do mean everywhere. This is one that's just nice to look at, and sometimes that's enough.
Everyday life is full of distractions: we've lost count of the amount of times we've been going at it only to pick up our phone to see what a pal has done with his Jack Russell on Snapchat. London-based artists Cristina BanBan and Dominic Dispirito both make paintings that show humorous, cartoonish exaggerations of characters navigating the banalities of an existence saturated by consumerism, digital imagery and the daily struggle. Relatable stuff right?