The Guerrilla Girls Get Shut Out At Frieze Art Fair | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios

[MUSIC PLAYING] Most people here will have
no [BEEP] idea who we are, as usual. [MUSIC PLAYING] I see Frieze as the
belly of the beast. The art world has evolved
into an arena of investment. And people who run at
these American museums, who are on the boards of
directors, who actually fuel the collecting of museums,
are all investors in art. And art has become so
expensive that to have these public
institutions, in a way, subsidizing that
market situation is really annoying to us. And we asked the
question, can we really allow a small handful
of really wealthy people tell us what the
history of our art is? We’re planning to take
one of our new campaigns, sneak around, put it up various
places– in people’s booths, in the bathrooms– give
things out to people going to the Fair, and just
see what happens. Hey. Would you like to put
up some stickers for us? Our new anti-billionaire
campaign? Sure. Thank you. OK. Go for it. GUERRILLA GIRL 1
(VOICEOVER): All the articles about the Fair, including
the articles about us, have all been about
how more and more, a very few super wealthy
people are controlling art. And the people at Frieze
are some of those people. So we’re hoping to give
some things to them as well. Sure. Nice. Thank you. We have to give you this,
and you have to display it. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] Hey there. Hi. Hello. Love you girls. Hey, love you. Oh. Thank you. [LAUGHING] He’s doing a deal as
he’s talk– walking. [LAUGHING] Sort of looks like a
shopping mall, doesn’t it? It is. It looks like a shopping mall. GUERRILLA GIRL 1 (VOICEOVER):
If we’re in an art neighborhood, particularly in New
York, people come up, and they want us to kiss
their babies, who are usually scared to death, and we
feel guilty about it. But people– everyone
wants to talk to us, and say thank you and say hi
and tell us what they’re doing. [CHATTER] Is this the lounge? This is crazy. Why don’t we
stop for a minute? Anyone need some stickers– Ladies. –to put up? Yes. You’re not allowed to hand
out any material inside the Fair [INAUDIBLE]. Who told you that? I’ve just been told
by the Fair director. OK. So you cannot hand out any– OK. –information at all. OK, fine. If you want to put
those both in your bags? Yes. We’re putting them in our bags. Do not worry. We get it. OK. OK. We’ve been shut out. We can’t hand anything out here. I heard that. So I guess that’s– So– –the official– So that’s it. –response to the Guerrilla
Girls at Frieze Art Fair. [MUSIC PLAYING]

Maurice Vega

18 Responses

  1. I'm not sure what The Guerrilla Girls think this video proves. To me, it's by wrote, and shown for the sake of being artsy. It really shouldn't matter if there is billion dollar art or art that is free! If a more diverse representation is the goal of The Guerrilla Girls, then get a huge space and start representing! Stop being a joke!

  2. three people triggered…so far.
    I get it ggs, and people paying attention to the "art world" (not just art, but the whole ugly business), they get it, too.
    folks who don't get it: this isn't a gimmick for the sake of quirky gimmickness, this is an antidote to an icky situation. get woke, already.

  3. Complaining is tricky business.

    In light of recent anti-establishment protests, such as #BLM, the 99% movement , and the anti-Keystone protests, I think it's really important that we learn to contemporaneously appreciate the strengths and weaknesses within every complaint. Right now, I'm having a lot of trouble evaluating both at once.

    I'll be the first to admit that I often roll my eyes at obstructionist protests: "No one's going to agree to not build a pipeline because someone thinks american land is sacred…" But shouldn't I let myself see the good in understanding the sacredness of our planet?

    Oddly enough, I think I tend to err on the side of tolerance of BLM. When someone points out a flaw with the movement, it's very difficult for me to take that criticism seriously. (Admittedly, it's because I believe that racism is incredibly good at hiding within us.) But I know it's nowhere near a perfect movement!

    My problem is that when I make a value judgement of a certain protest group, I become fixated on either crticism OR praise, never letting the two coexist.

    I used to think that good complaining should cause direct change. I'd like to revise that: I think good complaining should enable conversation and critical thinking. It should force us to ask and answer questions that would otherwise be left dusty attics, questions that make us uncomfortable, questions that can facilitate deliberate and humanistic change.

    Thank you for the assignment,


  4. This piece of art fails on a number of levels. First, the level of craftsmanship is just so underwhelming. Not only is their underlying social commentary flawed, but it fails to resonate in any meaningful way. There is no conflict in the art, and it's so utterly passive and boring that it can't speak to the volume of work occurring around them.

    The stickers are antiquated and pastiche, but not in a particularly good way. They are such small gestures in a time that's filled with strife and conflict, and their delivery is less sensational than people handing out flyers in the street.

    This is such a limp reflection of the current art climate.

  5. It is interesting to see Guerrilla Girls in action, though I wonder if the entourage with the camera was what drew the attention of Art Fair or at least got them stopped sooner.

  6. Turning art into an investment kills or at least slows down innovation to a crawl. Every investor wants his investment to be secure and safe. That's why people are more likely to invest into old and established types of art. it's just like Hollywood where studios aren't willing to take risks and we watch the same crap over and over again because it made money last time.

  7. I'm honestly really disappointed. They weren't shut out, they just handed out fliers and then were told that no one is allowed to hand out fliers at frieze. Yeah maybe frieze is a bit shit but they seemed perfectly happy to pose for pictures with people who were at frieze supporting it, and they must have paid to get in, thus funding frieze too

  8. The danger of these million dollar pieces is that the art world will become divided by some class of billionaires. Will art only be valuable if it is worth over 100,000?? What about the rest of the artists? Do their pieces not get shown if their art doesn't have a crazy price tag?

    Go Guerilla Girls! Love your work!!

  9. Find a way in the Art Fair as a piece of art …
    as a Interactive Environmental Performance Piece.
    Because each move of your hand is a piece of ""improvisational choreography"" .
    Because every sound from your mouth is an example of ""primal emotive studies"" .
    Each filer and sticker a
    cultural artifact crafted for personal viewing.
    The People will take the videos, because it is ART.
    The People will take the stickers, because it is ART.
    The hard part is finding a way into Frieze Art Fair as a piece of art … …

  10. The idea that "a few super wealthy people control art" is an interesting accusation. It's true that we live in a time of "art as an investment," but we also live in a time of art as mass entertainment. So, art isn't merely for collecting, it's an industry that makes books, comics, films, shows, songs, and everything in between. There's art for everyone, not just the super rich. And, I'm not sure it's the super rich who control art history so much as the fine art establishment, typically found in museums and universities – filled with people who are not super rich, but who are schooled in a particular philosophy of art. But, even they don't really control art history, that's nuts. In a free society, there are many perspectives and theories floating around, and people are free to decide for themselves which is best. Anyone who follows "Today's Inspiration" blog will find a treasure trove of illustrations that most art museums exclude. It would be interesting to see an expose of the most influential producers of entertainment, and how they influence public opinion – like who finances Michael Bey to make Pearl Harbor and that Benghazi film. The Gorilla Girls have had powerful messages over the years. Right now, I wish the current crop would work harder at presenting arguments for their statements, especially the notion that billionaires' workers don't all get a living wage. It may be true for some, especially Crystal Bridges in Arkansas, financed by Walmart, but it's not something I would accuse across the board without investigating thoroughly, and then I would probably name specific employers.

  11. So, if you have access to a room full of billionaires, why not give up on the stickers and keep having conversations? If you're in a room with the people whose minds you want to change, is handing out bumper stickers your only way of getting it done? Or else why not just go stick things on walls yourself? Did anything interesting happen afterwards? Did they change any minds?

  12. I have an Art Assignment! Anytime the word "Feminism" comes up people online get their panties in a bunch; in almost vicious terror over even bringing it up. Feminism is the boogeyman of the internet.

    What does that boogeyman look like? Take out your favorite feminist medium and construct something that will scare the crap outta 4chan!

  13. This is a very delicate subject. I respect many of Guerrilla Girls campaings. However, if they think they are protecting the artist by saying prices are too high, they are certanly not. Artworks have their own value and sometimes its insulting when someone say "i wont pay for that" or "i will pay you this because its too high". Artworks are expensive for a reason, art fairs actually bring artworks that you wouldn´t even find in museums into one place. If you would like to acquire it you can do it too, without having to go with the painful business of customs. Also, they give emerging artists a platform to be in front of collectors, museum directos and all kinds of public.

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