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The Artists Cinema at the Freize Art Fair 2005

An unprecedented series of screenings and commissions took place at the 3rd Frieze Art Fair, which confirmed the extent to which the moving image was now seen as an established contemporary art form.

Whilst film and video featured strongly amongst the gallery stalls at the fair, the Artists Cinema offered a critical and reflective perspective on current artists' film and video, presented within a bespoke auditorium within the art fair tent at Regents Park. Roger Hiorns, Donald Urqhart and Cathy Wilkes, three artists who had not worked with the moving image before, were commissioned by Frieze Projects to make short films which were shown daily alongside A Movie, a series of commissions by LUX/SPACEX. The artists who participated in A Movie were invited to make five minute 35mm films for a commercial cinema context, to be inserted before features at cinemas across the UK following their premiere at Frieze. The resulting films epitomised the current breadth of artists filmmaking; from Mika Taanila's formal abstraction Optical Sound, to Daria Martin's ode to the shapes and forms of film production in Man and Mask and the delicate performative gestures of Jimmy Robert's film L'education sentimentale, originally made on super 8.

Running alongside these contemporary commissions eight curators from very different backgrounds in art and film were invited to curate one hour programmes of artist's films which played across the weekend. The concerns that the programmes explored had a strongly political current; ranging from Marta Kuzma's examination of the notion of the capital city as a political hub in State of Acceptance, a retrospective view of the 'crumbling edifice' of Thatcher's Britain and the filmmakers that emerged from that climate by Chrissie Illes and the Bernadette Corporation's 'desire to re-discover a fiction for contemporary bodies without history or narrative.'

The success of The Artists Cinema 2005, which was well received by audiences and organisers alike, has resulted in a further inclusion at Frieze Art Fair 2006. 2006 offers further commissions for new artist films, new curatorial programmes by artists and curators such as Sharon Lockhart, Stuart Comer and the Otolith Group and recreations of seminal works from other periods, such as the expanded cinema works of Malcolm le Grice and Gill Eatherley and the republishing of four instructions from Yoko Ono's Instructions for Films for distribution in the auditorium.

Lucy Reynolds

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Poster for the Artists' Cinema at the Frieze Art Fair 2005.

Courtesy of Lux
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