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Eva Kotatkova, Architecture of Sleep (2014)

In a nod to Randall Island’s history, this year’s Frieze New York Projects was built on theme of leisure and play. While the sprawling fair was a veritable smorgasbord, with established favorites (ex. Yayoi Kusama), the mental (Takeshi Murata’s Melter 3-D), the bizarre (Slavs and Tatar’s Blinky Book), my favorite piece came from these commissioned works: Eva Kotatkova‘s Architecture of Sleep.

Throughout the day, three performers pass through phases of inertia on isolated constructions inspired by playground equipment. Simple in execution and humorous while remaining thoughtful, longer viewings of Architecture rouses a number of philosophical concerns. Questions on social and creative performance; activating environments; the meaning of rest; the boundary between performance and life; and the roles of pretend and natural inclination within potential dovetail in  the work’s exploration of stimulation and expression.

Architecture
benefits much from its outdoors station.  The undulating lawn and lapping shore provides a counterpoint to the work’s evident stillness while breathing into it an effortless, almost careless vitality.  The youthful athleticism of the performers and the freshness, reminiscent of French en plein air impressionists, of the natural setting transforms the scene into contemporary take on the Garden of Paradise, that, in fact, a

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