The Frieze Art Fair kicks off on Thursday and amid the hits, the misses and the tense discussion about The State of The Art World ( the capitals are mandatory) there’s some 24-carat work to be sniffed out. The specially-commissioned Frieze Projects gives eight emerging talents free rein to explore their own interests and passions against the backdrop of the world famous event. Curator Sarah McCrory has picked a fine selection of artists to work with, and we will be catching up with three of them this week, starting with the enigmatic Peles Empire.
Formed by Katharina Stoever and Barbara Wolff in 2005, Peles Empire takes its name from a castle at the foot of the Carpathian mountains, which boasts an eclectic collision of art deco, rococo, renaissance and gothic architecture and decoration. Peles Empire reproduce rooms from this spectacular setting and merge their re-creations with the characters of the rooms they take over.
There are permanent spaces in London and Cluj, and the girls have taken their inspiration to shows around the world. This week, it lands at Frieze…
Hi there! Tell us in your own words what you’ve got planned for the Frieze Projects…
We are installing a working bar that will serve Tuica, a romanian spirit, and a Romanian sparkling water called Borsec. The backdrop of the bar is based on the same image of the castle Peles we currently have installed at our London and Cluj exhibition spaces, but is a more abstract version of it. There will also be objects that are mirroring or translating elements of the image.
Tell us how you came to know the Peles castle? What about it so attracts you?
We both moved into the same flat in Frankfurt’s red-light district whilst studying at the Staedelschule. One of our flatmates moved out and we wanted to use the room for something collaborative. We were both working with similar things, and were interested in the borders of private and public and the copy of the copy.
Barbara had picked up a small publication of the Peles castle in Romania when she went back to Romania a few years earlier (she was born there). It was left in the cellar until we discussed reproduction and the idea of opening a weekly salon in our living room. We were interested in what happens through the process of reproduction of something already reproduced. That why the Peles castle attracted us, as it revisits previous architectural styles and mixes them. It is also a mix and match of reinterpretation and original. The Prince’s Bedroom was perfect for the red-light district – funny, trashy and roccoco.
How much do you enjoy the combination of meticulous recreation and completely unpredictable public reaction?
Yes and no. Nobody has turned up and screamed yet, but there is room for that also.
Frieze Projects runs from Thursday to Sunday.